Do You Have Space for Homes that can help people Build a New Life?
Can you imagine becoming homeless? I know I can’t.
Can you imagine slipping away from being able to pay the mortgage and the bills. I know I can!
This is the way many people slide out of the delicate balance between comfort and living on the streets. It happens quite quickly and far too easily for most of us to want to imagine. Many people from “well-to-do” backgrounds find themselves without love, without self-respect and without friends and fundamentally without a home to call their own.
Before long these folk join a section of the community we don’t even see. They often find secret places to sleep and live quietly in the shadows, ashamed of their way of life.
You could help these poor, unfortunate victims of the rich “developed world” if you have a piece of Church land (or your parishioners have any available pieces of land, perhaps awaiting development, for example).
ArchBishop Justin Welby has asked us (collectively) to search for church land to help the homeless of our country. New Meaning were finalists in the Church of England “Cinnamon” Business Incubator project last year to find solutions to homelessness across the country. As such we are on a 2 year coached programme to “spread the word” and make a difference.
The New Meaning Foundation (NMF) is looking for sites for its “SPACE” homes. For single people, these offer an address – hence access to benefits – and a new sense of self-respect and a private space from where to rebuild their lives.
NMF with partners in Cambridge built six Small PACE homes last year and are building 12 more currently, for sites in Cambridge and Wisbech, while training formerly homeless and disenfranchised, unemployed young people in construction skills, so they can discover a sense of direction and also make a living wage.
These homes are modern, highly energy efficient and meet building regulations with a 60 year warranty. Last year 13 long-term unemployed people (some ex-offenders, some ex-Army, some ex-“street”) were trained over 4 months and 8 of these formerly unemployed folk have now found permanent work. Six ex-street sleepers are now housed at Christ the Redeemer in Cambridge, with more to follow. These are big changes in direction for the human lives involved.
If you have space in your Church estate for some of these homes you could literally save lives and, at the same time, help your local youth on the way to a successful future. New Meaning will advise, train and guide you through the process. We have experts in our associate team on church land acquisition, planning consent, design and build, through to engagement and support of the residents.
We also build “SPACE” Garden Rooms, as offices, gyms, extra accommodation and high quality “waney edge” timber furniture for sale / fundraising. You could help us fundraise by promoting or purchasing our SPACE Rooms in your parish to create income we will reinvest in the SPACE Homes. Building Space; Building Lives, Building New Meaning.