Figures reveal complex needs of many hostel residents

The Leonard Stocks Centre accommodates people with a high level of complex needs.

It is more than just a homeless hostel, it is a high-end safe-place for highly vulnerable and troubled people. Our task is not just to protect and nurture for the time they are with us but to connect them with long term help.

Here’s a snap shot of residents in June this year, facing multiple issues:

There were 18 men and 12 women accommodated. Of these 93% had a mental health diagnosis and a total of 40% had self-harmed or attempted suicide. 50% were alcohol dependent, 70% were heroin users. 63% also had chronic physical health issues.

It is a stark picture of the snares and stresses which entangle so many but the Friends of Factory Row are playing our part in trying to free the knots… and make straight the ways:

  • We part-fund a mental health worker
  • We fund and organise a volunteer programme
  • We provide £80/month for emergency food
  • We help residents move on from the hostel with essential furnishings.

Helping people return to independent living

A SPIKE in rough sleeper numbers on the streets of South Devon has led to more investment in “move-on” services.

The Housing First team can now help people transition from the hostel into a bedsit or flat within days of arriving at the hostel. There is support too for long-term residents making that difficult step into independent living.

The Friends of Factory Row are helping too. Most rooms and bedsits come without any furniture or even simple equipment like fridges and cooking utensils. If furniture is left in a flat it is often broken and worn out.

The Friends want to make sure that someone who is recovering from the trauma of homelessness feels valued and loved, so as in the same way that a relative would prepare a room for the return of a son or daughter they have not seen for years, so we want to make sure our residents feel welcomed.

So for each resident moving out into an unfurnished room the Friends will be making £300 available for a new bed, sheets, towels, cooking and washing-up utensils – the basic equipment someone needs to live. If they need a fridge, we’ll get them one.

Likewise with rooms within the hostel. They will be re-decorated and fresh bedding, towels and toiletries provided. Just because someone has been rough sleeping does not mean they should not be given the same welcome as in a smart hotel. Indeed, self-esteem is lifted by showing unconditional respect.

In the Bible story, the Good Samaritan didn’t skimp when he paid for a room for the man he found mugged by the roadside. He promised to pay the inn-keeper “whatever he needed” to get the man back on his feet.

A big THANK YOU from our treasurer...

....... to all who support the work of the Friends to help homeless men and women in South Devon to 'get back on their feet'. In particular those who give by Bankers Order who do not receive an acknowledgement for their donations. This includes one 'anonymous donor' who is giving £20 per month, and another donor for whom we have a name but no contact details who is giving £5 per week.

As you will probably read elsewhere, it was unanimously agreed at a General Meeting last year that the Friends should apply for charitable status in our own right (we have previously worked under the 'umbrella' of Langley House Trust, the owners of the Leonard Stocks Centre).

Charitable status has at last been granted, and this means we can now claim Gift Aid in our own name.  Enclosed with your Newsletter is a Gift Aid form, together with a stamped, addressed envelope. If you are a UK Tax Payer, please complete and return the form. This will increase your giving by 25%. Thank you.

Bring us your books!

Do you have any unwanted books at home?

Then donate them to our charity bookstall in Torquay Market.

Over the last 18 months we have raised over £2000 for the Friends through a simple honesty box. People take a book and make a donation.

The wonderful traders at Torquay Market watch over it.

Final Thought

“It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.”

Martin Luther King Jnr