A Birmingham-based homeless shelter has been announced as the first recipient of LoveBrum’s Community Impact Fund; receiving £15,000 to help continue its work with the city’s rough sleepers. Tabor House, which has welcomed 58 people since opening just two years ago, will use the money to employ a volunteer co-ordinator for an entire year that will help bring another 30 people off the streets and get back on their feet.

Announced with World Homeless Day (10/10) coming up, this funding marks a significant move for Tabor House as it enters its third year. Having opened back in September 2017 as a pilot project with six beds, the Digbeth-based project now has 12 beds and has welcomed 58 people, of which 35 have successfully move on to employment and independent living.

The money provided from LoveBrum, as part of the charity’s Community Impact Fund that launched in May 2019, will be spent to employ a volunteer co-ordinator for an entire year, helping to bring another 30 people off the streets and get back on their feet. The remaining funding will cover the cost of a hot meal for Tabor House’s guests for three months.

The unique project, which is run by iShelter, has a small staff team made up of one full-time manager and two part time workers, supported by a large team of volunteers. Volunteers provide mentoring and befriending, with a strength-based approach to helping people get back to independent living.

Recent statistics show that an estimated 726 homeless people died in England and Wales in 2018, 23 of whom were in Birmingham; the highest number recorded by any local authority in the country. With this number likely to increase, local charity, LoveBrum is supporting projects like Tabor House that are working hard to make homelessness history.

LoveBrum’s Community Impact Fund launched for the first time earlier this year, marking a change for the charity. In 2018, LoveBrum secured £250,000 of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund; the largest funder of community activity in the UK. LoveBrum was able to add over £50,000 to its funding pot, meaning the charity could support even more local causes, including through the larger grant of up to £15,000, in addition to its current funding.

Paul Mitchell, Executive Director of LoveBrum, said:

“LoveBrum’s Community Impact Fund has allowed us to grow the charity’s work across the city and make a significant difference to one project which, in turn, will impact the lives of many.

“More needs to be done to tackle homelessness in Birmingham, which is why we made the decision to support this incredible project, so they can continue to change people’s lives.”

When Tabor House first opened its doors in Digbeth, it became Birmingham’s only permanent night shelter, offering safety, support, warmth and encouragement to people experiencing homelessness. Tabor House helps people to access the additional support required to bring a person out of the lifestyle of the street, back into living independently and being able to manage their own lives. In the last 12 months, 25 people have stayed at Tabor House, with 20 of them moving on to their own independent accommodation as a result of the unique mentoring and support package Tabor House offers to Birmingham’s rough sleepers.

Sharon Fear, Project Manager at Tabor House, commented:

“Tabor House is absolutely thrilled to have been awarded LoveBrum’s first ever Community Impact Fund. The money will make a huge difference to the work we will be able to do.The volunteer co-ordinator role is crucial in the running of Tabor House, a project predominantly run by volunteers and we are really looking forward to working with LoveBrum.

“This marks the start of an exciting year for iShelter and Tabor House; it’s thanks to the generosity of charities and trusts like LoveBrum that we’re able to do what we do. Over the coming months, we will be looking for even more support; so whether you’re able to come along to our Christmas concert and show your support or commit to sponsoring a bed, there are so many ways to get involved!”