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Making houses into homes

Oxfordshire Homeless Movement has been working closely with grassroots community organisations to bring home comforts into accommodation provided by partners. We don't want people moving into an empty shell, but into somewhere where they feel comfortable staying. 

We are very proud of the impact we have had so far and continue to have with this project. We discovered and have focussed on the knowledge that when people move into new accommodation, it is easier to make them feel comfortable in new surroundings by asking them what they need. This then provides us with a precise list of what we need to provide and targets their individual needs.  

We have also helped numerous partners fulfil very precise asks for their guests and we do this through our incredible voluntary group Helping Oxfordshire Homeless Collaboration (HOHC). In short, when our partners ask for specific items for a guest, we put the call out to HOHC and through efficiently utilising their wonderful network of over 1,500 local members, the items are collected at drop off points across the County and delivered to our very grateful partners. Examples are too numerous to mention, but if you can think of it, we have probably provided it! HOHC additionally run an Amazon Wishlist which is updated regularly to respond to specific items needed by partners countywide.   

Once guests have moved into their new home, we help provide items that will aid help them to feel as comfortable as possible. Examples of common items we have asked for and received are: food parcels, cleaning products, kitchen utensils, pots and pans, glasses and crockery, televisions, seating, bedding, lamps and pictures. We don't just provide basic necessities, we also provide items to keep people active and entertained, such as bicycles, board games, paints and canvases, books and even an electric keyboard or an exercise bike!

In general, we have found that it is better to collate things that are needed and actually accepted by our partners. This is why we hold a page which includes an up to date concise list of what some of our partners accept. 

The Oxfordshire Homelessness Alliance is rolling out units of dispersed accommodation in the form of "Housing First" properties across the County. OHM has allocated funds in the form of Personalisation Budgets for guests - so that they can buy what they need to turn their houses into homes. 

If you would like to continue this impact, please consider donating things to this project