Public asked to help the homeless in Basildon
published on 28 Oct 2021
An initiative to tackle homelessness which started when a young boy donated £5 to The Salvation Army could be coming to Basildon.
Malachi Place in Ilford opened in 2020 after Malachi Justin, who was five at the time, sent his donation to The Salvation Army and asked them to buy a house for the homeless.
Now, Salvation Army leaders in Basildon are appealing for the public to help secure the future of the initiative in the town.
The Salvation Army has joined forces with Citizens UK and housing developer Hill Group to set up The SHC Partnership to deliver Malachi Homes. The scheme, earmarked for land at The Burnt Mills Industrial Estate, will comprise six modular cost-effective homes, which include a bathroom, bedroom, living area and a fully equipped kitchen.
The church and charity gives people who are homeless the support they need to rebuild their lives, including housing advice and training in basic life skills. Residents in the Malachi Homes project will be supported by a team of trained volunteers, supervised by a manager.
Although £25,000 funding has already been raised locally for Malachi Homes, Basildon Corps Officer Captain Paul Williams said they need another £5,000.
Captain Paul said: “This will help people who have been sleeping rough as well as providing the support they need to tackle the issues that have led to them becoming homeless.
“We’ve supported people who are homeless for years and we’ve got to know these people, but those who are doing well and have benefits in place are not able to move on because there is no accommodation available for them.”
A public consultation about the project was held last month and the planning application will be submitted shortly. If the funding shortfall can be made up, it’s hoped planning permission could be secured by the end of this year.
Paul said financial support has been given by Churches Together in Basildon, Basildon Community Volunteer Service and the Fun Walk Trust headed by MP John Barron. He said any help from the public would be gratefully received.
Paul added: “The Salvation Army will provide the support, Basildon Council will make the land available, and The Hill Group will donate the units. We are now asking for the community to help get this over the line.”
Elsewhere, The SHC Partnership has started work on setting up supported accommodation projects in Southend and Bristol, with opportunities being explored for projects in Harrow, Leicester, Merton, Greater Manchester and Taunton.
If you’d like to donate to the project, click here