A representative from the NEWWAY Project recently got in touch with Association CEO, Nick Phillips to talk about their project and their hopes to set up a new almshouse charity.

They are seeking land or property, ideally within the London Borough of Newham, to build a community of accommodation for 6-15 single adults who have a history of rough sleeping or in vulnerable housing situations. The offer will be around 12- 24 months, but dependant on levels of needs and move-on options. These beneficiaries will be supported by the community and team from NEWway. They will help them build on networks that include health services, training, employment and education, volunteer opportunities and household management/financial skills. These supports will allow for a move on from their services, that ensures their rough sleeping is non-recurrent.

Angie Allgood, Director at NEWWAY Project tells us her story

“Mine is an unusual story. I am the fourth of six generations to live, work and worship in a small corner of East Ham called Bonny Downs.

I live in the same street that my great-grandparents raised their thirteen children to adulthood. Their cottages were bulldozed as part of the post-war slum clearance.

My Nan and Grandad moved their family one road down, to council-owned flats, and lived out their days thankful to post-war welfare reforms.

My Nan knew poverty.

She shared stories of severe overcrowding, being ‘kicked out’, hiding from the ‘rent man’, fearing homelessness, insecure and irregular employment and the heartbreak of children going to bed hungry.

I had absorbed her stories and entwined them with my own. In 2013, I walked those same streets, haunted that the destitution of her past life which was quickly becoming our present reality. Rough Sleeping, homelessness, food poverty and insecurity was on the rise.

Myself, and other locals sought the support of Newham churches, and the expertise of Housing Justice to respond to an Isaiah vision to shelter the homeless and feed the hungry in our community.

In 2013, we opened our first winter night-shelter and formed our charity NEWway Project (1165966).

Over the past 10 years, we have continued to respond to the needs of the homeless community around us. We have grown to provide a commissioned Day Centre- (NEWday) and Employment Social Enterprise- (NEWlife). https://newwayproject.org/

We see large numbers of single men, mostly under the age of 35. Many have been granted the sanctuary and refuge of status in the UK but are faced with no prospect of housing.

Homelessness prevention teams are overwhelmed, and our guests are found as non- priority. Social Housing is non-existent to this group. Private rents are high and unattainable.

Many have a desire to work but become trapped in exploited situations and find it hard to sustain work when they have no place to call home. We see people coming out of homelessness becoming institutionalised by the systems that are designed to support, but often trap people in expensive welfare benefit options.

NEWway have been seeking a model of housing that focuses on the strength of community in providing support, and empowers individuals to lead purposeful and fulfilled lives, which include gaining and sustaining employment.

We believe that people coming through homelessness are resilient and courageous and have much to contribute to our community. We want to ensure that those who wish to remain in our borough, have better options to do so.

We are excited to be exploring almshouses as our answer.

We are forming a new charity, that aligns with the almshouse principles.  This will allow us to provide genuinely affordable community-led housing. We want to provide a place of sanctuary and support, where our guests can recover from the traumas of homelessness and rebuild their lives by contributing within a safe and supportive community.

We are seeking land or property, ideally within the London Borough of Newham, to build a community of accommodation for 6-15 single adults who have a history of rough sleeping or in vulnerable housing situations. The offer will be around 12- 24 months, but dependant on levels of needs and move-on options. These beneficiaries will be supported by the community and team from NEWway. We will help them build on networks that include health services, training, employment and education, volunteer opportunities and household management/financial skills. These supports will allow for a move on from our services, that ensures their rough sleeping is non-recurrent.

Can you join us on this journey?”

To get in touch with a representative of the NEWway Project, please click here