New Resource Hub targets homelessness and improving lives in Edinburgh
Today the Homeless Spotlight showcases the pioneering Futures project in Edinburgh run by Craigowl Communities in partnership with Gowrie Care, both part of the Hillcrest Group.
A pioneering new service that aims to improve the lives of people who are homeless and those at risk of homelessness by providing skill based training has opened its doors to people in Edinburgh recently.
In partnership with Gowrie Care, Craigowl Communities’ Futures Edinburgh service has made their Resource Centre available to the masses this week after already giving a number of homeless people vital training and skill raising opportunities.
Stacey, a Resource Centre attendee who is currently living in homeless accommodation, said: “I will be moving into my own flat in the coming months and I have been enjoying learning to decorate and brushing up on my cooking skills.
“I’m here because it gives me something to do day to day, a routine which is not something I have had before. I hope to get a bit of experience in a lot of different things and hopefully meet different people.”
Andrew Wilson, Craigowl Communities Futures Edinburgh worker said: “Our goal is simple, we are offering homeless people or those at risk of homelessness in Edinburgh the opportunity to discover skills, establish goals and work towards employment.
“There were 3,980 people and families assessed as homeless in Edinburgh in 2014-15, so there is a massive need for a service like ours to help tackle this.
“The Resource Centre team meet with homeless people on a one to one basis to discuss where they are in life, where they want to be and how we can help them to get there.
“A lot of the people I have met with are unsure what they can achieve, the Futures Edinburgh service can help people to discover skills they had forgotten or didn’t even know they had.”
After the initial meeting, if it is felt that they can benefit from Futures Edinburgh, clients are enrolled on a 6 week course designed to improve confidence and identify strengths, develop job finding skills and CVs, and even help people recognise their transferable skills through cooking, IT and other activities that build social skills.
Andrew continued: “Our aim is to create a relaxed and safe environment. This brings out the best in people, enabling them to realise their own potential by helping them achieve goals so they move forward in life.
“Although we would recommend everyone attends the full course, we understand that the group format might not be the best approach for everyone. With this in mind, Futures Edinburgh can also be provided on a one to one basis with clients who might not be able or want to join a course.”
Established in Dundee in 2002, Craigowl has been providing people with a range of employability and community focused projects and services for over 13 years.
Andrew concluded: “Without a doubt there is a need for a service like Edinburgh Futures in Edinburgh; a service that works closely with homeless people to get them back into society.”
During the open week the service was visited by Councillor Cameron Rose.
Referrals to Edinburgh Futures, which is co-funded by Digital Skills Academy, can be made by email to AndrewWilson@Craigowl.com.