Genesis Trust values partnership, collaboration and community. It is through working together in partnership with other charities, agencies, churches, businesses and organisations that we offer hope and support to homeless and vulnerable people in the Bath area. Good communication between organisations and understanding of what each offers makes a huge difference to the speed and quality of support that we can give to people in need. Recently, we were struck by an example of this ‘joined-up’ support at our Furniture Project. Genesis staff and Bath agencies working closely and swiftly together enabled a woman who was homeless to move into her new accommodation within a week.
One Monday, Jane (not her real name) sent us an email. She had just been told that she had been allocated a housing association property. Up until this point she had been staying at the YMCA, having been homeless for nine months throughout the first lockdown.
However, Jane had few possessions other than some basic kitchen equipment. The manager of the YMCA knew that Genesis Trust helps people with furniture and so passed on our contact details. She was due to move in on the Friday so time was tight!
We had to act quickly to help her get all the items she needed so that she could turn the empty property into a home. To start with, Anthony, Furniture Project Manager, helped her to complete a grant application to St John’s Foundation Crisis Fund for the basics. This included a bed frame and mattress, drawers, sofa, table and chairs and a kitchen starter set. Some of these items would be new and others from donations to the Furniture Project.
The staff at Curo housing association had already raised an application for a washing machine and fridge freezer which was to be funded through BANES Council’s Welfare Support Scheme.
Anthony then set about making a series of phone calls to speed up the whole process for her move in at the end of the week. By Wednesday afternoon all grants had been approved and the items were assembled at the dispatch areas ready for delivery on the Friday.
On Thursday, however, Jane heard that all the carpets in the property were old and would be removed before she moved in. Another phone call to St John’s determined that there were enough funds to cover the cost of basic carpets. These would have to be laid after she moved in but it would be possible the following week.
On Friday, she moved into her new flat. Anthony and the Genesis team delivered her furniture and fridge freeze. The cooker and washing machine were delivered and installed by Nailsea Contractors and all was completed by 2pm. On the following Monday, the Furniture Project team returned to move the furniture whilst the new carpets were laid by Bath Contract Flooring.
We want to celebrate this example of partnership, collaboration and community. All the agencies worked swiftly together to enable Jane to make her move from homelessness to having a home as stress free as possible. The Genesis Trust cannot operate any of our projects without the mutually supportive community around us. We strive for our Vision of a thriving and supportive community in the Bath area where everyone has hope and a future. We can only hope to achieve this by understanding what each other offers and working together.
For more about our Vision, Mission and Values visit https://genesistrust.org.uk/vision-mission-values/.