MP visits St Helens centre supporting people experiencing homelessness
published on 9 Jun 2016
A centre which supports people experiencing homelessness in St Helens, The Salvation Army’s Salisbury House, received a visit from Labour MP Marie Rimmer who witnessed the innovative work being carried out transforming lives.
Salisbury House is a Lifehouse run by the Church and charity and like all its services supporting people experiencing homelessness, aims to work with individuals to help them achieve their personal goals, whatever these may be.
Residents play a part in the running of the centre and are given the chance to choose what opportunities are offered. One example of this is a new garden project launched at the centre this spring which Marie Rimmer spent some time admiring.
The idea to transform hand-picked green spaces at Salisbury House came from residents who have received support from staff and volunteers. Now, a few weeks in, significant progress has been made and residents have been given another area to work on.
Marie Rimmer MP for St Helens South and Whiston, said: “It was a pleasure to visit Salisbury House to meet with residents and see the excellent work being done to support the previously homeless men living there.
“Salisbury House is a unique facility and The Salvation Army is doing excellent work to equip the residents with the skills and resources to be able to break the cycle of homelessness.
“There are some excellent community organisations like the Salvation Army working to tackle homelessness in our society but we also need action, not just words, from the Government. I’ll continue to press in Parliament for the Government to ensure much needed affordable homes are built to help tackle the growing housing crisis and for them to continue financing supportive housing.”
Marie was given a tour of the Lifehouse and residents shared their stories with her before The Salvation Army’s regional manager for Homelessness Services took the opportunity to discuss the challenges being faced in the area around homelessness.
Regional manager, Rob Long, said: “The work we do at our centres across the North West and throughout the country focuses on a person led approach which means our Lifehouses go much further than just providing a bed for the night.
Taking the time to get to know individuals and what we can do to help them is central to our service, as is working to protect them while helping them to achieve their goals, not those imposed on them. Understanding individual needs and often delivering lifesaving support is key to our approach.
“It was wonderful to show MP Marie Rimmer what we do at Salisbury House while speaking to her about the issues we as a service are facing along with the individuals we support.”
Salisbury House is one of more than eighty Salvation Army Lifehouses located across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, all of which offer a range of services and support as well as accommodation for people experiencing homelessness.