THE LIVING ROOM
The Living Room first opened its doors in January 2017 and was set up by some of the Great Yarmouth church leaders & Imagine Norfolk Together in Great Yarmouth. The aim of the project was to enable people sleeping rough to have shelter, warmth and hospitality for some nights every week during the winter months and to improve outcomes for people sleeping rough who want to move onto permanent accommodation.
The project has gone from strength to strength and this winter The Living Room was open between the 24 November and 25 March. From November to January The Living Room was open for 3 nights a week, and during February and March the Living Room was open for 4 nights a week due to additional funding.
The Living Room was also able to open for 3 extra ’emergency’ nights during the very coldest weather.
The Living Room has made a real impact on the local community. One example of this is Tom. Tom was referred to The Living Room by one of the church lunch drop-ins. He was living in a tent and had a history of mental health difficulties but was not accessing any mental health support.
Tom stayed at The Living Room regularly for 3 months. During that time he was able to meet with the GP who regularly attends The Living Room to work with the visitors. The Living Room Project Co-ordinator also liaised with mental health services and the wider multidisciplinary team, highlighting Tom’s vulnerability in terms of mental health.
As a result of this liaison, Tom was able to see a Psychiatrist, and was admitted at an inpatient to a mental health hospital. The Living Room Project Co-ordinator continued to communicate with him and support him. Tom had broken his glasses some time before and was unable to afford to replace them, so The Living Room worked with the charity Acts 435 to raise the money for new glasses.
After a few weeks as an inpatient, Tom was moved to Housing Association accommodation where he is now successfully maintaining his tenancy.
To find out more about the Living Room or to support the project please visit their website.