Police and Crime Commissioner visits unique Portsmouth service for families experiencing homelessness

published on 14 Nov 2016

A Salvation Army Lifehouse for families experiencing homelessness in Portsmouth welcomed Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Michael Lane through its doors today (Friday, November 11th) to highlight the work being done with families who are vulnerable or in need within the local community.    The Police and Crime Commissioner met with staff and residents at the Church and charity’s Catherine Booth House Lifehouse on St Paul’s Road.  

The Salvation Army has provided support to families and individuals experiencing homelessness in Portsmouth since 1980. Catherine Booth House relocated to its current site opening in 2009 and provides temporary accommodation and housing support for couples with children, and male and female single parent families.   

The staff work closely with Portsmouth City Council Social Care, and are able to cater for a wide range of support needs, enabling families to build the skills needed to maintain a tenancy. This close connection enables families to maintain control over their lives while also ensuring Portsmouth City Council is able to fulfil its statutory obligations in assessing the housing and support needs of families who are vulnerable or in need.  

A service user at Catherine Booth House said: “Living in Catherine Booth House has given us the skills to be able to live on our own, independently.  We are so thankful for everything that has happened to get us to where we are now, we are currently looking towards the future and seeing what that will bring.  I attend Portsmouth Central Salvation Army Corps at Portsmouth Citadel every week, I’m planning on becoming an adherent within this corps”.  

The service at Catherine Booth House provides personalised compassionate support and practical help to families and lone parents with their children so that they can build the skills needed to organise their lives and maintain a tenancy in the future through for example, money management advice, and parenting classes.  

Police and Crime Commissioner Lane said: “I am delighted to visit Catherine Booth House in Portsmouth today, to meet staff, to see the excellent work they are doing, and to understand the real experiences of vulnerable people affected by homelessness, in their voices.”   

Gillian Suckley, service manager at Catherine Booth House Lifehouse said: “The staff and service users at Catherine Booth House are proud to show PCC Lane the work that we do and the service that we provide to support local families”.