There For People Like Carl
published on 12 Mar 2014
Only days after winning a social services award for being the centre with the most improved quality and delivery of service, London’s Edward Alsop Court hosted the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Kris Hopkins MP.
Mr Hopkins met residents who had been homeless in Westminster and are receiving support back into independent living.
At Edward Alsop Court Lifehouse (our term for a social service centre), we have been able to offer more than shelter to people like Carl. Carl, who is 32, was separated from his wife and eventually became homeless. After some time at Edward Alsop Court, Carl admitted that he had a gambling addiction which he had been trying to resolve on his own.
We linked Carl into professional support, while at the same time helping him to find employment. He started working part-time in a multinational company and was subsequently employed on a permanent basis.
During this time, Carl was resettled into his own accommodation and, while from time to time he struggled with his addiction, he returned periodically to Edward Alsop Court for support and encouragement. Carl still remains in work and in his own accommodation.
Mr Hopkins said: ‘Thanks to the work of The Salvation Army, Edward Alsop Court provides a valuable service to some of the country’s most vulnerable people, offering the opportunity for those who have slept on our streets to get their lives back on track.
‘Since 2010 we’ve invested £470 million to maintain a strong safety net against homelessness, and today I was able to see for myself the excellent work that organisations like The Salvation Army do to help those in the greatest need.’
Centre manager Lieutenant Alison Greer said: ‘It was wonderful for Kris to meet our residents as they work to rebuild their lives. We work hard to ensure we provide people with a place of safety and security, where they can find help and encouragement as they work through whatever challenges they are facing.’
Edward Alsop Court in Great Peter Street, Westminster, supports up to 108 male residents with low support needs. There are 79 single rooms, 25 bedsit spaces and 4 one-bedroom flats that provide accommodation as people rebuild their lives. Residents receive tailored support, monthly reviews ensure residents can achieve rehabilitation and recovery and opportunities are available for learning new skills and gaining qualifications.
The Lifehouse also links with external agencies to maximise opportunities for residents – additionally partnering with specialist alcohol and drug support services.