Residents of Lincoln alcohol accommodation welcome open day visitors

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20 Feb 2015
by Neil Skinner

The first residents at a new residential alcohol support service in Lincoln welcomed visitors and members of the media to an open morning this week.

The Corner House, on the corner of Friars Lane and St Rumbold Street, is supported accommodation for homeless people with chronic alcohol dependencies operated by Framework in partnership with Public Health Lincolnshire, the Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust, and Addaction.

Corner House resident Karl with the Mayor of Lincoln

Corner House resident Karl speaks to The Mayor

Developed to reduce the number of street drinkers in the City, the building contains 15 one bedroom flats – each with its own kitchen and bathroom. Modelled on Framework’s highly effective Michael Varnam House service in Nottingham, the Corner House supports a programme of detoxification and abstinence.

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Corner House resident Stuart

Since it opened its doors in November, the new service has accommodated a total of 15 people – many of whom will play a leading role in Wednesday’s open morning.

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MP Karl McCartney speaks to Corner House manager Sandra

Corner House Manager Sandra Blow explained:  “Hundreds of people pass by this building every day and I am sure that many of them must have questions about what we do, the people we help, and how the service operates. This open morning was a perfect chance for us to answer some of those questions and I am delighted that so many of our residents have shown such willingness to get involved. I am very proud of what we have achieved so far and am thrilled to be able to share some of our success with other members of our community.”

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The open morning featured a range of displays by residents, tours of the building, and a chance for visitors to experience some of the therapies and training sessions that take place within. Visitors included the Mayor of Lincoln and MP Karl McCartney.

Residents of The Corner House are referred to the service by a range of different community partners, including the NHS, GPs, housing providers and the criminal justice system. Residents are closely monitored and supervised to ensure compliance to stick residency rules and the building is staffed 24 hours a day.

All residents are also expected to take part in a minimum of 16 hours of structured activity per week as a therapeutic tool and diversion away from alcohol. This can include training in new skills, or taking part in a range of complimentary therapies.

The high (and complex) nature of Service Users’ needs, coupled with the alcohol detoxification and specialist programmes requires 24 hour staff cover every day of the year.  This is necessary not only to ensure the programmes can be run and supervised effectively, but also to deliver responsible premises and locality management

Mandy, 42, was street homeless before moving into The Corner House. She explained the impact the Corner House has had on her life.

“I’d forgotten what type of person I was. I had become a homeless alcoholic and that was the label I wore. They are bringing out of me the qualities that have been hidden for so long and given me a chance to shine.

 

“One of the best things about being here is that we are challenged and that expectations are put upon us that we are expected to meet – but not in a way that they are insurmountable.”

Stuart, who moved in in January, has served several prison sentences for alcohol related crimes. He is now determined to change his life. He explained:

“Since I have been in here I have not drank. I have lots of support. I know I can talk to my support worker whenever I want. I have support from my doctor and Probation. It is a wonderful support network which has been missing in Lincoln for around 15 years. The only problem is that there are not more of these buildings.”

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