New Malachi Homes project is unveiled

published on 12 Jul 2022

The Salvation Army has taken over the running of the Malachi Homes project in Leigh on Sea which helps people move on from homelessness and rough sleeping.

The modular homes project, which was set up with partners The Hill Group, Citizens UK and Southend on Sea City Council, aims to rehabilitate people experiencing homelessness and help them to move on with their lives.

The Salvation Army run schemes which help rough sleepers and homeless people deal with issues which contributed to them becoming homeless in the first place, such as mental health and addiction issues, and childhood trauma.

At the ceremony last week, the church and charity joined forces with housing developer The Hill Group, Citizens UK and Southend-on-Sea City Council for the official handover of Malachi Community Homes; six purpose-built ‘Solohaus’ modular homes, which will help people rebuild their lives..

The homes and associated groundworks were gifted by The Hill Group while The Salvation Army and the council will support residents, helping them to adjust to their new lives.

Captain Tracey Bale and her husband Major Andrew Bale led The Salvation Army in Southend throughout the project.

Tracey said she was “thrilled work had been completed.”

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The Salvation Army has taken over the running of six new modular homes in Leigh on Sea

She said: “This is a wonderful gift that The Hill Group have given to The Salvation Army, for us to be able to manage this and to help change the lives of so many people over the period of years that this will be here for, is just amazing.”

“It’s going to be a wonderful opportunity for them to change their lives for the better. This is a once in a lifetime chance and Southend needs something like this.”

Tracey said she believed Malachi Community Homes takes support for people experiencing homelessness to a different level.

She explained: “Most of the time we are just plugging a hole here and there without giving them the support they need to move on to a better life. This project allows that to happen. You’re looking at the whole person and trying to help them on every level

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The Salvation Army has taken over the running of Malachi Community Homes in Leigh on Sea

“People who have already shown that they want to improve their situation and move on with their lives are coming here. It’s a pat on the back for what they have already done so they can move on to full, independent living.”

Major Howard Russell is the leader of The Salvation Army in the East of England. He said he was delighted the accommodation is community-led.

He added: “The strength of The Salvation Army is in community. This scheme is linked with the corps in Southend. The people who are going to help support it are from the local area. Local ownership and local support for local people who are going to be living here has to be the way forward.”

It’s going to be a wonderful opportunity for them to change their lives for the better. This is a once in a lifetime chance and Southend needs something like this
Captain Tracey Bale

Award-winning housebuilder The Hill Group has gifted the purpose built and fully equipped homes, and developed SoloHaus following the launch of the company’s Foundation 200 initiative, a £15m pledge to manufacture and donate 200 modular homes to charities  specialising in tackling homelessness.

Robert Jack, Regional Director at The Hill Group, said: “It gives me great pleasure to see our vision to assist homeless and vulnerable people in rebuilding their lives, come to fruition here in Essex.  I have every confidence that The Salvation Army, alongside Citizens UK, will use our SoloHaus modular homes to aid people’s journeys off the streets and into these safe and secure accommodation.”

Cllr Ian Gilbert, cabinet member for housing and regeneration at Southend-on-Sea City Council said: “We are extremely thankful to The Hill Group for gifting these six brilliant modular homes, and to The Salvation Army. They are sure to make a huge difference to people in Southend-on-Sea getting back on their feet after facing a period of homelessness.

“Tackling homelessness remains a priority and during the pandemic we offered emergency accommodation to many that were sleeping rough. We are determined to continue these efforts and help people off the streets through longer-term support initiatives such as this.”  

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