In June 2014 we opened our Supported Accommodation for men. This accommodation is called ‘The Bridge‘. We pray that it will provide a bridge from homelessness to independent living, from an old to a new life, from hopelessness to hope. In March 2016 we moved to a new house so that The Bridge now accommodates up to 6 men who stay between 6 months and 2 years.
As well as providing a home, we actively support residents in finding appropriate work, training or work experience / volunteering placements.
Each resident is supported by a key worker who also coordinates volunteers to befriend and mentor those in the house.
The Bridge is staffed by House Leaders (married couple) and Keyworkers. You can read more about them here.
The residents at The Bridge come from a number of referral agencies. The project is designed for men who have already made significant progress in their desire to return to independent living but who need some support in their efforts to achieve this. Residents are carefully screened and closely monitored. We have a referral, application and interview process in place which means we will only accept residents who are committed to change and have the aim of living independent / interdependent lives making a positive contribution to society. In line with the majority of similar projects around the country, residents live at The Bridge under the terms of a licence agreement which imposes clear boundaries, seeking to help residents to develop a healthy and positive lifestyle.
We have a team of volunteers who because of their own life experience and additional training
– Act as mentors and assist with the support needs of the residents, under the supervision of the paid staff;
– Assist in providing 24 hour cover;
– Help in ensuring that the project runs as unobtrusively in the local community as possible.
Residents’ Training / Education / Employment Programme
As well as providing a home, an aim of The Bridge is to enable / empower / provide a platform by which the marginalised in our community (for whatever reasons) can receive support and a chance to rebuild their lives. This includes actively supporting residents in finding appropriate work, training or work experience / volunteering placements.
The project acts as a bridge to agencies such as the Job Centre, employers, volunteer and internship placement providers, colleges and other education / training providers, etc. as residents endeavour to rebuild their lives.
Through its work with the Eastbourne Winter Night Shelter over the past few years KWT has already established a good working relationship with Sussex Police, a number of local businesses and voluntary organisations, and has strong links with a wide range of local churches in the area.
Our Policies and Procedures have been designed after careful consideration and discussion with many similar projects of this nature around the country. They have proved to be very effective with little or no adverse effect on the local community. In most instances the presence of the Supported Accommodation has been a positive one on the local neighbourhood, where the residents have offered their help to the local community.