Homes not Houses
What is it?
Homes not Houses is our call to action for the church in Bristol to partner with us, alongside like-minded charities and key local and national organisations, in enabling some of the most disadvantaged in our city to have a place that they can call home.
Why is it important?
The numbers of people rough sleeping, and those who are vulnerably housed in Bristol, has significantly increased over the past decade. In 2019, at the city council’s annual count there were 98 people sleeping rough (there were 41 recorded in 2014), and at the end of March 2020, 727 households were living in temporary accommodation.*
Many people sleeping rough during the pandemic were given access to a wider range of housing but, prison leavers still need a home, women escaping the sex trade still need a home, those fleeing domestic violence still need a home, those who are yet to become homeless because of the economic fallout of the pandemic will still need a home.
What’s different about this?
At the heart of Homes not Houses is wanting to create homes and a community for people who are homeless or vulnerably housed, where they are known, looked out for, and loved. This is a radically different approach than just providing a roof, a room, or an apartment.
Homes not Houses is about obtaining properties, placing homeless or vulnerably housed people in those properties, and through the committed involvement of local church communities, creating safe, trusting, empowering and loving communities where tenants are able to thrive.
Who can get involved in this?
For this to be a success, we need commitment from church communities in Bristol, and so if you are a church leader or Christian individual whose heart has been stirred by what you have read, please get in touch. Another vital element to the success of Homes not Houses is input from individuals who have lived experience of homelessness. If this is you, please get in touch.
How do I get involved?
We have engaged Cathy Knowles to lead this activity on our behalf. Cathy is part of Resound Church and brings 14 years of experience leading property-based projects for church owned buildings. Cathy is looking forward to hearing from those who are interested in finding out more about how they could be involved in this exciting initiative.
Cathy’s email address: [email protected]
Illustration: Olivia Jackson