People become homeless for a variety of reasons. Things can go desperately wrong with their lives and they reach a crisis. It can happen to anyone for all sorts of reasons, from relationship breakdowns, childhood abuse to addiction or mental health issues. Unfortunately, some suffer multiple issues, struggling with all of the above.
On a recent visit to St Pauls Hostel in Worcester, and a subsequent meeting with Chief Executive Jonathon Sutton, I began to understand more about the people who need to use their services and the support that’s available to them at St Pauls.
It’s clear that Jonathon Sutton is a man that speaks his mind and gets things done. His understanding of the causation of homelessness and how individuals find themselves in that position is enlightened and guides their approach, leading to positive outcomes for the people who arrive at their door.
Some of the people St Pauls help used to hold down a full time job and had a family life, but the trauma they have experienced, in varying degrees, caused them to lose their way. Jonathon explained they look at the impact of ‘adverse childhood experiences’ (known as ACEs) to understand how to help each person, as every case if unique to that individual.
St Pauls offers a place of safety for people both physically and psychologically. People in their care develop positive, trusting relationships with the staff, helping them engage in activities such as cooking, gardening and poetry. When I met the chef at St Pauls, he explained how he has mentored several people to move out of the hostel and gain work in the catering industry. The recently opening garden, is an absolute inspiration.
The services and care available at our local hostel need supporting by all of us in the local business community to ensure the ongoing developments of this excellent facility.