New homeless hostel in Manor Park marks 'great step forward'

Just Homes has opened Penuel House

Just Homes trustees with East Ham MP Stephen Timms. - Credit: Just Homes

A Newham charity has just opened a new hostel for single homeless men in Manor Park.

Penuel House was opened by Just Homes on April 1 with East Ham MP Stephen Timms and Cllr Shaban Mohammed, Newham Council's housing lead, in attendance.

It has room for eight single homeless men in furnished single bedrooms, with the shared use of common areas and a kitchen.

Penuel House in Manor Park was opened by Just Homes

Penuel House is in Manor Park - Credit: Yaya Egwaikhide

Just Homes, a Christian charity, is the second largest provider of accommodation-based support for homeless people in the borough; it has grown from its nine bed spaces 24 years ago to 54 bed spaces for men across five homes and 12 for women across three homes.

Chief executive of the charity Christina Baby said its main aim was to help people get back on their feet and be in a paying job by the time they leave. 

Chief executive of the charity Christina Baby at Just Homes' Penuel House

Chief executive of the charity Christina Baby at Penuel House - Credit: Yaya Egwaikhide

Christina said: “We really encourage our residents to go out between 10am to 2pm to make sure they can have a good day and be prepared for any job interviews they have coming up.” 

The charity has been working on helping all its residents to develop multiple life skills such as cleaning.

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All residents must dedicate two hours every week to the upkeep of the accommodation, which aims to prepare them for moving on. 

Just Homes' new hostel Penuel House in Manor Park

Penuel House from the outside - Credit: Yaya Egwaikhide

Christina said: “You don’t know what anybody has been through, and we want this place to feel like a haven for someone who may have been through so much."

Penuel House was bought by the charity using a mortgage from a charity bank. 

This is a "great step forward", a statement released by Just Homes said, because it previously had to rely on landlords' goodwill in allowing the use of their properties on longer-term leases.

It has been refurbished and already has residents living there. 

One of the residents, 32-year-old Mo said: “They have been perfect with us, they could not do more for us, the only problem is that they get no support - they need more support."

The charity receives no funding from the government, but has had support from locals. 

When it wanted to open Penuel House, during the planning process, neighbours threw their support behind the application. 

East Ham MP opening Just Home's Penuel House

The ribbon cutting at Penuel House - Credit: Just Homes

Find out more at https://www.justhomes.org.uk/