Gap Supported Housing was first registered as a charity under the name StopGap on January 7th 1999 and became StopGap Supported Housing and a company limited by guarantee in 2009.
We became Gap Supported Housing in 2022
WHAT OUR SERVICE USERS SAY
In 2016 we were approached by A level student Marcus Graham who wished to produce a video about our service as part of an A level project
We were more than happy for Marcus to do this and gave him free reign to speak to both those within the service and members of staff.
Our accommodation service was opened in 2001, an end terrace property adapted to provide hostel type accommodation with basic sleeping, washing and cooking facilities for up to five people and staff accommodation.
In 2008 we were successful in securing capital funding from the CLG Places of Change Programme to refurbish our existing accommodation project and to expand into the adjacent property. Officially opened in September 2010 by the Duchess of Northumberland, this provides accommodation for up to seven people including a short term emergency bed.
In 2017 we began discussions with Karbon Homes regarding a property they held which had remained empty since April 2016 when the previous tenant had withdrawn. This four story building had been designed to provide a Foyer type services for homeless young people.
In early 2018 plans were finally agreed to reconfigure the property to provide four flats; two four bed flats, one three bed flat and one two bed flat. All flats having a communal living room and kitchen and all bedrooms having ensuite facilities with staff accommodation and a laundry on the ground floor and the whole of the first floor providing training, activity and office space.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
“Homelessness affects people in all sorts of areas and a small well-planned project like StopGap can make a real difference in a rural town like Hexham, helping people to stay within their own community. Our role is all about helping councils and communities to tackle local needs and this is a great example of that approach in action.”
Bill Carr - Area Manager
Homes & Communities Agency (2010)
Considerably delayed because of the COVID19 Pandemic the new service named Links House was opened in September 2021. The layout of flats within Links House has allowed us to provide female only accommodation a service we have not previously been in a position to deliver.
Each individual we support has a personal circumstance that led to their homelessness. That’s why we work with the individual to look at what they need to begin rebuilding their life. Our experience of providing supported housing over many years has given us an understanding of the broad range of support people can require and the outside agencies that individuals may need support to access. The training/office space within the building allows us to involve other agencies and community groups in service delivery and so facilitate a more holistic approach to an individuals support.
Hexham and many of the surrounding towns and We are based in Hexham, a market town in West Northumberland. Newcastle is 25 miles to the East and Carlisle 38 miles West. Homelessness in West Northumberland has its own difficulties, particularly around the rural nature of the area. There is a perception that homelessness and deprivation are not issues that requires addressing here. As the high numbers of referrals to our service show, this is far from the case.
Our experience of the unrecognised levels of homelessness experienced by rural areas was confirmed and highlighted in the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) document “Right to a Home? Rethinking Homelessness in Rural Communities”
(Snelling, C (2017) Right to home?: Rethinking homelessness in rural communities, IPPR. http://www.ippr.org/publications/right-to-home