Crawley Open House run a 24-bed high-support hostel, six move-on houses, an emergency food parcels service, a drop-in day Resource Centre welcoming over 50 visitors daily, and a community outreach team. They are a valuable resource in the Crawley area to accommodate and support those who have fallen through the cracks.
The hostel residents are offered three meals every day as well as tea, coffee and snacks. For many of them eating properly is a vital part of their rehabilitation. People who are referred or are known to the team are offered food parcels to tide them over their period of crisis. Typically, Crawley Open House gives out between 60 and 70 food parcels per week, and most of what they give out was donated from individuals, companies, retailers, Fareshare and other community groups.
The average length of stay in the hostel is eight or nine weeks, and in that time the residents work closely with the staff to find a more permanent accommodation. Progress is also made on some of the issues which made them homeless in the first place, and the staff aim to create a warm, safe, healthy and supportive environment for them. Many talk about the food as being a highlight!
A member of staff writes: “It is remarkable how much progress many of them make during their stay at Crawley Open House. Many arrive anxious and fearful, and often malnourished and quite unwell, especially if they have come straight from the streets. Having a safe place to be and being able to sleep, eat, shower and enjoy the company of others, means that they can usually find themselves in a far better place, and more able to deal with the next chapter of their life.”