MP visits Cardiff centre that's helping transform lives of homeless people

published on 29 Sep 2014

An MP has praised Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse in Cardiff for helping homeless people turn their lives around.

Jenny Willott, who represents Cardiff Central and who is the former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, met residents who are receiving support back into independent living.

The centre offers an ‘inspirational and creative’ approach to addressing the needs and issues of people facing homelessness and was recognised at The Salvation Army’s Social Services awards in April 2014.

Centre manager Lee Ball said: “It has been a great opportunity today to introduce Jenny to our residents. Our name, Tŷ Gobaith is Welsh for Hope House, and in everything we do we promote a sense of hope. Many of our residents had given up all sense of hope as a means of emotional survival.

“We provide a safe space for them to take control of their lives and make positive choices – from choosing their own keyworker to deciding how support is delivered and their personal budget is spent while they live here.

“We are one of a number of Salvation Army projects in Cardiff who actively place choices and control back in the hands of those who come to us for help. It isn’t enough for us to provide shelter to people in need, we want to empower them so they can reclaim their dignity and independence.”

Tŷ Gobaith can accommodate up to 66 men and women over the age of 18. The Lifehouse focuses on support and breaking the cycle of homelessness, providing a lifeline to people as they begin to address the issues around their homelessness and make positive decisions about their future. Residents can take part in beneficial courses on a range of subjects, including budgeting, literacy and numeracy, nutrition and healthy relationships, as well as having input into the employment of new staff members.

During her visit, the Liberal Democrat MP met service users who take part in a range of different projects, including the Grub in a Tub social enterprise that produces buffets and working lunches for local businesses. The project gives residents the chance to learn new skills in a working environment.

Jenny said: “I’ve heard the experiences of those who have faced homelessness. They have told me what it means to them to have their voices heard and to be empowered to make choices about their lives, even after losing hope.

“It has been inspiring to see first-hand the way The Salvation Army is offering creative, practical, compassionate assistance to those most in need.”