The Shrewsbury Ark, a pivotal resource for homeless and vulnerable people in Shropshire, is set to reopen its doors as a referral only service from next Monday.
Following a temporary closure due to challenges posed by anti-social behaviour, the centre will reopen to people experiencing rough sleeping, from Monday 20th November, implementing a referral-only system.
Recognising the importance of ensuring a safe and conducive space for its clients, The Shrewsbury Ark says it has made substantial changes to its operational model during its period of closure.
From Monday, individuals will be able 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, The Shrewsbury Ark has also seized the opportunity to revamp its physical space. This involved a reorganisation of the space and a fresh coat of paint. 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 has also thanked 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, the local police, 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 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.
The service is also inviting the community to support and engage with its renewed efforts to assist the homeless and vulnerable. The charity says it is enthusiastic about the positive impact this structured approach will have on the lives of those seeking support.