Target Housing’s Homeless Housing Project in Rotherham
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A detached property in the Parkgate area of Rotherham, Vesey Street is a collection of 5 apartments that were renovated by Target to use as short-to-medium term homeless housing provision. When it was first purchased, the property was falling into disrepair and, as Target housing’s team noted, had a rather ‘pungent smell’!
In order to make the purchase and renovation of this property possible, Efficiency North donated £50,000. This, alongside other funding, was used to create the apartments, with a shared kitchen, dining room, and lounge too. South Yorkshire fire service also gave a grant for the property, allowing a full sprinkler system to be fitted as part of the refurb.
Since opening in 2018, Vesey Street has housed and supported over 20 homeless and vulnerable people, giving them the support and stability needed to move on to permanent housing. Tenants include people from a wide variety of backgrounds, including refugees and people with mental health issues.
From the beginning of the project, the aim of the property was to offer a high standard of accommodation that remained ‘anonymous’ within the community, allowing residents the time and space to reengage with both society and their families. This has been achieved, with Vesey Street providing a secure and discreet temporary home that allows residents to take the steps to move onto permanent housing safely.
Turning Problems Into Outreach
After graffiti was sprayed on the walls of the house during the latter stages of the refurbishment, Target’s team decided to use it as opportunity to connect with local residents, starting a door-to-door conversation programme and invitational property viewing.
The programme was a great success! Although the police were unable to find the culprit of the vandalism, the team were able to use their personal approach to deal directly with community questions and concerns one-on-one; successfully turning hardship into a learning and outreach opportunity.