HOMELESSNESS in Cardiff and ways of helping people in the city to rebuild their lives and escape homelessness came under the spotlight recently.
It happened when Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty visited The Salvation Army-run Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse at 240 Bute Street. During his tour, Stephen Doughty spoke to people who are staying at the centre about homelessness and the reasons that led to them being without a home. The MP also heard how Tŷ Gobaith supports its residents to make a fresh start in life by building up their confidence through life skills training, adult education and counselling.
“Homelessness has had a very high profile in recent years and while we’re all probably aware that it is a very complicated issue, very few of us will know about the work that is done by organisations such as The Salvation Army to help people get their lives back on track”, said Stephen Doughty MP.
“This is why it was a privilege to visit Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse and meet people there who have been homeless on our capital city’s streets and hear from them first-hand about the support they’ve received from the dedicated and talented staff at this incredible centre to rebuild their lives.”
Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse is a 66-room centre where local men and women who have been homeless can go to live and receive specialist support for between 6 and 12 months. It is just one of the services and centres run by The Salvation Army’s Homelessness Services Unit in the capital city for people experiencing homelessness.
“The Salvation Army has been offering unconditional and practical help to vulnerable and marginalised people who are homeless for over 130 years. We understand people who are homeless will often have complex problems that require long-term support to help their recovery” said Yvonne Connolly, The Salvation Army’s Regional Manager for Homelessness Services.
“We are proud of the specialist services we provide and understand that different people need different types of support and we have developed a range of specialist services for people who are homeless across the city. “It was a pleasure to welcome Stephen Doughty MP to the Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse and talk to him about homelessness and introduce him to the ways we work to support people out of homelessness, including the Bridge Programme – our alcohol and drug rehabilitation programme”, added Yvonne Connolly.
Mark is a resident at Tŷ Gobaith and spoke to Stephen Doughty about his experiences at the Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse. “I was in the Army for three years and when I left the Army, I found I couldn’t settle back into civilian life. I was drifting between jobs and drinking heavily. I got into trouble and ended up spending time in prison”, said Mark.
“When I was in prison, my probation officer told me about the Bridge Programme at Tŷ Gobaith and coming here has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. Being here has helped me stay sober and because of that my confidence, self-esteem and sense of self-worth are all higher than they’ve ever been.
“When I was drinking there was never a chance of me having a happy future – it couldn’t happen, but now life feels brilliant. I know how to deal with my emotions and I’m looking forward to the future and that’s because of Tŷ Gobaith.”
Stephen Doughty MP visited the Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse on Friday 8 March. The Salvation Army’s Homelessness Services Unit in Cardiff runs the Crichton House outreach programme and the Bus Project service for rough sleepers and people experiencing homelessness in the capital. It also operates its Northlands Lifehouse on North Road and the Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse on Bute Street and is a partner with Cardiff City Council in the innovative Housing First Cardiff pilot project.