Creating communities: Stacey Street
Islington Council has opened a new housing scheme on Stacey Street to help people sleeping rough. With 30 individual rooms, as well as facilities for wheelchair users and a women’s only area, the site is well equipped to provide a new start for some of Islington’s most vulnerable people. We sat down with Georgina Earthy, the council’s complex needs and homelessness manager, to find out more
Tell us about the project.
I applied to the Greater London Authority on behalf of the council for funding to purchase a building where we could provide safe, secure accommodation for people sleeping rough. To our delight it was accepted, and we started the process to purchase 1 Stacey Street. It was incredible to see residents finally move in in August. There is a real need for a scheme like this. It felt really good to know that people would have a high-quality home to move into.
How will Stacey Street help homeless people?
Stacey Street is a warm, welcoming environment. Health services are provided within the building: Jonny, our resident psychologist, is based at Stacey Street, as is Lorna our health nurse among others who are there to look after their health and wellbeing. Single Homeless Project are also providing round-the-clock support. They are highly regarded in the sector, providing similar services across London. We’re lucky that we have a fantastic service manager and a really dedicated team.
Support is based on individuals’ needs – we’ll find out what their aspirations are, what they like doing and what they want to do next. We have high hopes that we will be able to support people to move on to live independently and thrive in the community after Stacey Street.
Why are schemes like this so important?
They are essential. Homelessness could happen to anyone. If it happened to me, I’d want to live somewhere like Stacey Street – a place with services I could access to address health needs, caring, passionate staff to help identify goals and crucially, help me on the path to achieve these. All while living in a building that is well-maintained, welcoming and in a residential area that makes me feel part of society. I’m pleased to say we’ve already had some great feedback from residents.
How can people help?
Giving money to people on the streets isn’t the best thing to do. If you want to make a real difference, volunteer with a homeless charity. You could also buy The Big Issue from a registered vendor or just talk to the homeless people that you see. Being kind and interested can be invaluable – especially if it comes with tea or coffee!
For more information on how you can help or for support if you are at risk of homelessness, visit the council website.