The Shrewsbury Ark, a pivotal resource for homeless and vulnerable people in Shropshire, is set to reopen its doors, to people experiencing rough sleeping, from Monday 20th November, with a restructured approach aimed at enhancing support and empowering individuals in need.
Following a temporary closure due to challenges posed by anti-social behaviour, the centre is implementing a referral-only system, fostering a more structured and supportive environment for those seeking assistance.
Recognising the importance of ensuring a safe and conducive space for its clients, The Shrewsbury Ark has made substantial changes to its operational model. The centre will now function as a referral-only service, allowing individuals to access its services through referrals from partner organisations such as Shropshire Council, local police, medical practitioners, family, friends, or by self-referral.
"We are thrilled to announce the reopening of The Shrewsbury Ark with a renewed commitment to providing tailored support to those experiencing homelessness or vulnerability in our community," expressed Emily Bell Chair of Trustees, at The Shrewsbury Ark. "Our new referral-based system aims to ensure a more structured approach to support, enabling us to better assist those in need in their journey towards stability and self-sufficiency. This new model of operation also responds to and, we hope, will resolve concerns that have been expressed by the local community in recent months.”
Under the new system, prospective clients will need to register with the charity and work with support workers to develop a personalised development plan. This plan will serve as a roadmap, equipping individuals with the tools and resources necessary to progress positively in their lives. Regular reviews of these plans, will allow for adjustments and ensure that individuals are receiving the specific support they require.
The revised approach emphasises the importance of fostering progress and accountability, ensuring that individuals are supported in their efforts to move forward in life. The implementation of the referral system and structured support services will replace the previous drop-in model, and will provide a more focused and individualised approach.
"Our priority remains the well-being and progress of those we support. This new model has been created in collaboration with staff, volunteers, clients and organisations offering similar services, to allow us to better track individual progress, ensure that people using our services are receiving the comprehensive support they need, giving a purpose time spent at the Ark." added Emily Bell.
During the temporary closure, as well as providing a breakfast service and daily check-in at St Chads church hall, the Shrewsbury Ark staff and volunteers have seized the opportunity to receive additional training and revamp the premises. This involved a reorganisation of the space and a fresh coat of paint. The carpark as also been fenced off.
The improvements made to the centre infrastructure will provide a more welcoming and efficient environment for individuals seeking assistance, ensuring that the surroundings complement the newly structured support services.
The Shrewsbury Ark would like to thank the local community for its ongoing support towards the charity and those experiencing homelessness in our town. Special thanks go to the teams at St Chad’s church and Palmers Café, West Mercia police, The town wardens, RESET, and the Shropshire Rough Sleepers team, for their support during the recent period of closure.
The Trustees would also like to thank the incredible staff and volunteer team at the Ark, who have cooked, cleaned, organised, painted, consulted, collaborated, processed and created this new look service in a matter of weeks.
We invite the community to support and engage with the Shrewsbury Ark’s renewed efforts to assist the homeless and vulnerable. The charity is enthusiastic about the positive impact this structured approach will have on the lives of those seeking support.