West Midlands-based builders merchants Tippers and EH Smith have joined four other construction industry firms in committing to a new scheme to help get homeless people off the streets and into employment and secure accommodation.
EH Smith, Tippers, concrete supplier BS Eaton, civil engineering firms Friel Construction and M Lambe Construction, and specialist commercial glaziers Nash Glass have donated a collective £30,000 to the initiative at Tabor House, an accommodation project based in Digbeth. The initiative aims to provide ways out of rough sleeping for individuals through a strength-based mentoring programme to secure employment and permanent accommodation.
Each firm has donated £5,000, which will cover the running costs of one bed at Tabor House for a year, including 24-hour accommodation for someone referred off the streets, daily meals and essential supplies. In addition, there will be a one-to-one mentoring programme to help them secure employment, as well as housing & benefits support.
Tabor House, which is run by iShelter in partnership with Father Hudson’s Care, has transformed its open-plan living area into perspex ‘pods’ in line with Covid-19 guidance and can now house up to eight guests at any one time. Since opening in 2017, the Digbeth-based facility has welcomed 70 guests and seen more than 35 move into both employment and permanent accommodation.
Sharon Fear, project manager for Tabor House, said: “The support we’ve had from these six firms covers the cost of one bed for a year, which is so crucial, especially given the financial pressures that our charity is under. Whilst it’s difficult for everyone, there’s a stark reality facing our homeless community, so our Sponsor-A-Bed initiative gives firms an opportunity to contribute in a tangible way.”
iShelter is also preparing to open Caretaker’s House, which will be a move-on facility for guests. In the short-term, it will allow people referred to the service to move safely from the street into a private room for two weeks before joining Tabor House.
There is a concern that homelessness could rise significantly in the coming months in the face of significant economic uncertainty. If you would like to support Tabor House and its Sponsor-A-Bed initiative, visit ishelter.org.uk.