Starts at Home Day isn’t just another date on the calendar—it symbolises the unwavering commitment of supported housing providers like BCHA to transform lives and uplift communities. Today, as we celebrate the impact of supported housing across the UK, we want to shed light on the pivotal services we are providing in the South and South West. 

Empowering Lives 

At BCHA, our services stretch beyond bricks and mortar; we are about working together – building better lives, better homes, better communities. 

In our mission to combat homelessness and its associated challenges, BCHA has established an extensive array of supported accommodations for single individuals, couples, families, and even pets. These accommodations aren't just about providing shelter; they are intricate ecosystems of support, fostering a sense of community, providing educational resources, and addressing the multifaceted issues that often lead to homelessness. 

Today, to support the Starts at Home Day campaign to get commitment for long term funding for supported housing, we want to share and celebrate the amazing work we are doing at BCHA. 

In Yeovil, we've facilitated temporary accommodations for families, guiding them with care, attention, and invaluable life skills. Beyond the walls of these homes, we proactively provide a variety of support, such as mental health resources, employment training, financial literacy, and much more. These services, delivered with a trauma-informed, strengths-based approach, have enabled 90% of individuals and families to make a positive move from temporary accommodations since just last year. 

Plymouth, with its unique challenges, has witnessed BCHA’s holistic, transformative interventions. Families facing homelessness have found a home through our Families Temporary Accommodation Service. We've tailored our support, making sure each family feels seen, heard, and valued. For young people approaching adulthood who are experiencing challenges in life, our housing services provide not just a roof, but a launching pad to a brighter future. We provide a safe space to focus on their strengths, develop skills and build positive relationships to achieve their aspirations.   

Our Temporary Accommodation & Outreach Team, an embodiment of our belief that everyone deserves a shot at stability and dignity, irrespective of their circumstances. We reach out, not just with accommodations, but with life skills, partnerships, and resources to ensure sustainability. For those exiting the hospital with nowhere to turn, BCHA's Homelessness Hospital Discharge Team offers a unique service, ensuring the vulnerable aren’t left in the lurch. 

Then there's George House, a key part of The Plymouth Alliance’s vision to uplift people with complex needs. Its 46 en-suite units provide a sanctuary for the homeless, backed by extensive support and facilities, from training rooms to communal lounges. Collaborative work here is paramount, ensuring every resident is set on a path towards a better future. 

Primrose is a unique sanctuary for women, particularly those escaping traumatic experiences. From trips to the beach to engaging with supportive entities like The Sunflower Women’s Centre, every woman in Primrose is empowered to rebuild her life in a safe environment. 

Somewhere Safe to Stay, another service from The Plymouth Alliance, has 20 bed spaces ensuring that residents aren’t just housed, but also supported in rebuilding their lives. The emphasis here is not just on providing shelter but ensuring that every individual has the resources and support to reintegrate into society, fully equipped to tackle life’s challenges.

In Exeter, The Housing First approach turns the traditional housing model on its head. Believing firmly that a stable home is the first step towards healing and rehabilitation, we’ve championed this initiative with an impressive 85% of participants maintaining their accommodation, signifying its success.   

The First Step Assessment (FSA), commissioned by Exeter City Council, is a beacon of hope, accommodating those who have experienced rough sleeping. With facilities such as Morwenna Court and The Junction, its team of dedicated support workers, and uplifting activities like sports and art, every resident is made to feel at home. 

Gabriel House stands as a testament to BCHA’s commitment to serving diverse residents. This 42-room hub in Exeter’s city centre provides support for entrenched and rough sleepers, bringing essential services right to their doorstep. Their latest initiative, a resident-led café, actively encourages social interactions and skill development. 

Lastly our services in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. St Pauls in Bournemouth stands out, accommodating even those with pets. Recognising the challenges of drug or alcohol dependence, mental health struggles, or trauma, this facility ensures its residents have comprehensive support. From action plans to in-house training on crucial life skills, every aspect of this service aims to restore hope and confidence.  

Our Poole Mental Health Services, including Millennium House, Amica House, and Cornelia Lodge, offer essential support to adults aged 18-65 at risk of homelessness with a mental health diagnosis. The team provides tools for independent living, mental health management, and personal development through tailored support and collaboration with partner agencies. 

Homes and Hope for the Future 

Starts at Home Day reminds us of the difference a secure home can make. Our multi-pronged, holistic approach showcases how supported housing is not just about buildings—it's about building futures. With every door we open, we aren’t just providing shelter, but opportunity, hope, and a chance for a brighter future. 

We're eternally grateful to our partners, stakeholders, and the community that we work with across all of our services. Without a commitment to long-term funding, we will not be able to continue all of this vital work. 

What you can do 

To support our call for funding for supported housing you can: 

  • Consider housing and homelessness policies when voting, and expressing your support for local services with your MP 
  • Donate to BCHA to help fund our work
  • If you are a Councillor or MP, we invite you to visit our services 

Please contact us  to support our work. 

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