[From left to right: Jennah- Louise Leonard, Jessica Hamilton, Major Susan Dean, Kallan Mullen, Connor Mullen, Autumn Mcdermot, Major Leon Dean, Louise O'Brien, Ishbel Cooke]
A service that provides accommodation and support for young people experiencing homelessness run by The Salvation Army, Crossroads in Accrington, celebrated its 10 year birthday with a Hawaiian themed party.
Local businesses donated food for the party and the building, on Empress Road, was turned into a Hawaiian paradise.
Lee Robinson, a support worker, has worked at the service for nearly ten years.
He said: “We’re a small service and we’re like a family. I love working here because I can see the transformative effect we can have on the lives of the young people who come and live here, at Crossroads.
“We treat all our service users as individuals, and aim to give them the skills and support they need to achieve their goals. Many of the young people we work with have been through a lot and have very low self-esteem. We walk alongside them and help them to see their potential and give them the opportunity to believe that they can have a happy life and achieve whatever they want in life. We help them to believe that homelessness is not who they are.”
Staff at Crossroads connects service users with local agencies who can help them achieve what they want in life. For example, Lancashire Fire and Rescue’s Prince’s Trust, Programme Support Worker, Emma Lythgoe works closely with the service. She said: “Crossroads is a fantastic place and the support staff give to young people is wonderful – they help give them the self-belief they need to do something.
“We believe you can provide so much more support for young people if you work together.”
Max is 16 and has been living at Crossroads for four months. He said: “I feel staff here really know and understand me – I trust them. They are clearly here because they care and that makes a big difference to the support we receive. Things haven’t been easy for me but the support I’ve had is helping me to look forward to a positive future."
Crossroads, in Accrington, is a residential centre which provides accommodation and support for up to eleven young people at a time aged between 16 and 25.
The Salvation Army believes providing a bed alone won't go far enough to solve the issues of homelessness. It is an expert in helping people who are experiencing homelessness achieve their goals and employs an experienced and skilled workforce. Staff walk alongside service users giving them support to reach their goal. The Salvation Army will never give up on anyone and will give hope.
The Salvation Army believes in seeing the person, rather than the problem and encourages service users to have confidence that homelessness is not who they are.
For more than 150 years The Salvation Army has been transforming lives and continues to do so today in communities across the UK and throughout the world.