Tabor Living, one of Birmingham’s leading homeless projects, has opened the doors to its brand new home, following a £500,000 redevelopment project. The new facility will house up to 19 people who were previously homeless, with nine emergency beds and 10 move-on rooms.
Five and a half years after launching Tabor House in Digbeth, in partnership with Father Hudson’s Care, the organisation has now moved to a much bigger location based at St Catherine of Siena Church in Birmingham City Centre. Following 17 months of renovation, funded by grants and donations, Tabor Living has now doubled its capacity and increased its support for the city’s homeless community.
The project marks a major milestone in the Tabor Living journey, having originally opened in Digbeth as an emergency night shelter for up to eight rough sleepers back in 2017. With its central activities all under one roof, the team will now be able to support people directly off the streets, as well as offer appropriate and affordable accommodation for those who have moved into employment.
Speaking about the move, Project Manager Sharon Fear, comments:
“This really is an incredible moment for the Tabor Living team, as we open the doors to our new home at St Catherine’s. We’ve not only doubled our capacity, but we’ve also introduced private rooms for those who are joining us immediately from the streets, which is really unique for an emergency shelter.
Tabor has always been about giving people their dignity back and working with them on what they want to achieve. We’re about so much more than just a bed – our volunteers and mentors work with our guests on an individual strength-based basis to support them to achieve their goals and move into more independent living.
Over the years, we’ve found that once people had jobs and were ready to move towards independence there weren’t always enough affordable options for them. Now, from our new base at St Catherine’s we have 10 private rooms that provide exactly that. With the bonus of remaining very much part of the Tabor community,” Sharon concluded.
In addition to the 19 rooms and communal spaces for residents, Tabor Living and Father Hudson’s Care have worked closely with the St Catherine of Siena Church parish to develop recreation rooms, which will house meetings and events for the wider community.
The project was opened by Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor, who commented:
“Tabor Living provides support to some of the most vulnerable people in our region, so it was a privilege to be asked to visit and open their fantastic new base at St Catherine of Siena Church.
“It has come a long way since it first opened as an overnight shelter for rough sleepers, and now provides so much more than a temporary bed.
This new accommodation brings vital extra capacity, which means more people who are experiencing homelessness will be able to benefit from the remarkable services provided by Tabor Living.”
Since opening, Tabor Living has helped over 100 rough sleepers through interventions, signposting, and support. Working closely with guests, the Tabor Living team provides a person-centred, strength-based approach to support: helping people to move forward positively with their lives and away from the streets into employment, their own tenancies, and independence.
The project has a 75% success rate and hopes to increase this with the new resources available at St Catherine of Siena Church. In addition to St Catherine of Siena, the organisation’s existing three-bedroom Tabor Cottage in Digbeth, has become a long-term tenancy location.