New help at hand for homeless

Olwen Baker, chair of Adactus Housing Association, with Kathy Beaton and Adactus Housing Group chief executive Paul Lees.
Olwen Baker, chair of Adactus Housing Association, with Kathy Beaton and Adactus Housing Group chief executive Paul Lees.

A new housing service for homeless people has opened at the former Dolly Blue Tavern site in Lancaster.

Adactus Housing Group and Lancaster City Council celebrated the official opening of Oak Tree House, an accommodation-based support service for single homeless people over 25 – the first of its type in this district.

Oak Tree House will provide accommodation from one day and in some instances up to 12 months for individuals who are willing to engage in support. The scheme will have 24 hour waking cover.

Kathy Beaton from Lancaster City Council joined Adactus Housing Group chief executive Paul Lees and Olwen Baker, chair of the board, to cut a ribbon and officially open the new development.

Guests, including representatives from Lancaster City Council, Tyson Construction, IGL surveying partnership, Lancaster City FC and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), had the opportunity to take a tour of Oak Tree House to see the new facilities for themselves and meet everyone involved in making the project a reality.

The £1.4m development (£790k funded from the Homelessness Change Programme) is built on the former site of the Dolly Blue Tavern in West Road, next to Lancaster City FC’s Giant Axe ground.

It comprises 23 units of accommodation over two floors.

The key agencies will work with Adactus to manage the referrals received for the project, and the progress of each resident will be carefully monitored.

For those individuals who engage and progress well to get to a point where they can manage their own tenancy, they will be assisted to access move on accommodation when they are ready to leave the project.

Paul Lees, group chief executive at Adactus Housing Group, said: “We are delighted that working in partnership with the HCA and Lancaster City Council we have been part in making this much needed support service a reality for the city.

“Adactus will continue to work closely with its partners to ensure that Oak Tree House significantly enhances the lives of homeless people over 25.”

Kathy Beaton, housing strategy officer at Lancaster City Council, said: “Oak Tree House is an excellent local facility and will provide life changing opportunities for single homeless people over 25 and we hope that all our key partners and other organisations will support Adactus and individuals that come into the project to help them achieve full independence.”

For anyone interested in volunteering, contact Adam Treasure or Yvonne Christie on 01524 66882.