Derby’s Derventio Housing Trust celebrates a decade of helping the homeless

Derby’s Derventio Housing Trust celebrates a decade of helping the homeless

An award-winning housing trust which offers homeless people across Derbyshire a roof over their heads – and the help and opportunities they need to stay there – is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Derventio Housing Trust, which has become renowned for its innovative approach to tackling issues associated with homelessness, is planning a series of events across the year to mark a decade since its name appeared above the door of its premises in Boyer Street, Derby.

The organisation is a registered social landlord and operates 600 beds worth of private accommodation in premises across the county, Midlands and the South West, which it offers to people who have recently experienced homelessness.

However, this is only half of the story, because it also offers people the mentoring support that they need in order to rebuild their lives, gain employment and avoid returning to the streets.

Derventio Housing, which employs 90 staff and deals with 1,100 people every year, also runs a number of community projects designed to bring people together and equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to take control of their lives.

These include a community garden and upcycling workshop called Growing Lives in Cotmanhay, the Home4Me project, which it runs on behalf of Derby Homes, and Healthy Futures, an award-winning scheme which works with homeless people who get admitted to A&E and ensures that they have somewhere to go once they are discharged.

This year will also see the opening of The Junction – which the Trust believes is unique in the UK – a new premises which will offer short-term accommodation for homeless people to give them breathing space before they take their next step.

Jackie Carpenter, assistant director of Derventio Housing Trust, said:

“There are countless unavoidable reasons why people become homeless, which is why, sadly, it’s likely to always be a problem in our society.

“However, we’re very proud of our work over the last 10 years, which has been to understand the people themselves and address the issues that led to them being homeless in the first place.

“These are very complex and there is no quick fix, but by taking a long-term view and being willing to explore new projects or avenues, we have an excellent track record of making a difference and putting homeless people’s lives back on track.”

One person who has benefited from the Trust’s work is Wayne, 51, who said it took him from being homeless and experiencing alcohol addiction and mental health issues to a place where he is looking forward to a new start.

He said:

“I took part in the Growing Lives project and it’s been like a home to me, but now I’ve been enrolled onto a welding course and it’s time to move on.

“I will really miss the people but I’m looking forward to the future now. Derventio Housing Trust helped me so much. I’ve had to put in a lot of hard work myself but I only have good things to say about them.”

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