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Tabor House

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Opening on 28 September 2017, Tabor House will be Birmingham’s only permanent night shelter, offering safety, support, warmth and encouragement to people without the basics and necessities of life.

The project will provide a bed for the night, a shower, food, warm clothes, dignity, respect and the hand of friendship. More than this, it will work with local experts, partners and trained volunteers to support people to move on. 

How it will work

Tabor House will establish a volunteer-led mentoring and befriending programme to offer hospitality as well as support. It will work with local agencies to ensure those staying at Tabor House can access the additional support required to bring a person out of the lifestyle of the street, back into living independently and being able to manage their own lives.

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As well as ensuring each person using the service is kept warm and safe for the night, Tabor House will work with each client to provide holistic support tailored to their needs and strengths. This pre-engagement support includes mentoring, information and advice on issues relating to their individual need. It could include help with reading and writing skills, health checks, support to overcome addiction, employability training and much more. Having this support means guests are more likely to engage with services leading to rehabilitation, more permanent accommodation and, eventually, independent living.

Tabor House will be managed by two part-time Project Co-ordinators and a part-time Volunteer Co-ordinator, supported by a large team of volunteers. Volunteers will provide mentoring and befriending, a welcome, hospitality and the support to meet guests’ practical needs.

Accessing support

People will be referred to Tabor House for support by partner organisations. Tabor House is unable to admit people who walk in off the street.

If you have concerns about a rough sleeper you can help.

  • If they are ill or in danger, call 999.
  • If they are a rough sleeper in Birmingham, call the Birmingham Outreach Team (run by Midland Heart) on
    0345 602 0533 (during office hours) or 0121 303 2296 out of hours.
  • If they are outside of Birmingham, call StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or make a referral on the StreetLink
    website streetlink.org.uk.

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Background to Tabor House

In Birmingham there has been an 80% increase in the number of people sleeping rough. Estimates suggest there could be up to 200 people sleeping rough in Birmingham, possibly more. Currently there is no permanent night shelter. Emergency provision is only available for three months a year through the Churches’ Winter Night Shelter.

If a person has no entitlement to benefits, finds it difficult to engage with social workers and other professionals, is unable to stay in hostels due to fear and past experiences, or has no recourse to public funds, they will sleep on a street, in a porch or in a car park. 

Over the last two years a working group comprising the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, Father Hudson’s Care, Housing Justice, corporate philanthropists, the Birmingham Rough Sleepers Team, Midland Heart and other local homelessness specialists have mapped the need, carried out a consultation and planned for the set-up of a night shelter in Birmingham.

Tabor House will eventually operate with 15 beds, after a six-month pilot as a six-bed night shelter. These numbers have been chosen through research and liaison with other night shelters nationally and the Churches’ Winter Night Shelter
co-ordinated by Thrive Together. Guests will be referred by local organisations and will include males and females over the age of 18.

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The project is being managed by the iShelter Management Committee, made up of representatives from the key partner organisations. A National Lottery Awards for All grant received in August 2017 helped set up the kitchen at Tabor House, purchase an oven, cover meal costs, and to pay for volunteer training and expenses.

Contact us

If you would like more information about Tabor House, please contact Christy Acton, Deputy Community Projects Manager at Father Hudson's Care, on 01675 434064 or email christyacton@fatherhudsons.org.uk.

If you are interested in volunteering at Tabor House, please contact Mairead Shaw on 07387 418318 or Diane Bogle on 07387 418319.

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