Church Homeless Trust

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Jamaica Street re-opens its doors

Date posted: 08 Apr 2014

On Friday, Church Housing Trust attended the launch ceremony of Riverside ECHG’s Jamaica Street hostel in Bristol, a newly renovated scheme that regularly makes use of our funding to provide resettlement, education and training for its residents.

The aim of the renovation was to improve the quality of the rooms available and provide all 56 hostel residents with increased independence during their time at Jamaica Street. Those staying at the hostel have an increased level of privacy, while still receiving regular contact with hostel staff and other residents. The innovative redevelopment includes two double rooms for couples, new communal spaces for socialising and even improved facilities for pet dogs.

The refurbished third floor had its layout altered to provide 15 self-contained living spaces made up of a bedroom, en suite bathroom and kitchenette. The second floor now has 20 bedrooms, each with en suites and larger shared kitchens that will allow for cooking workshops (pictured). There is also a brand new IT suite and meeting room on that level, plus access to a balcony that has the potential for some excellent gardening projects and summer barbeques.

Among the event’s attendees were Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson, Riverside ECHG’s Regional Operations Manager Paul Teasdale and Senior Area Manager of the Homes & Communities Agency, Jay Lambe. Mayor Ferguson commented: “It comes down to the people involved… more than the place. It’s absolutely vital to give [residents] dignity, hope and confidence, and enable them to move on.”

Riverside’s Head of Supported Housing, Helen Gore, says: “The project has changed from a very traditional hostel to a warm and welcoming environment in which to live.”

Jamaica Street makes use of the PIEs (Psychologically Informed Environments) scheme, which encourages self-worth and reflective care practices, not only through cheerful and bright surroundings, but also through training and support of staff members.

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