The Fox Street Community is based in Preston and provides all-year round supported accommodation for 20 adult men. It was established in 1986 by the Central Methodist Church to respond to the growing demand for temporary accommodation. Now, also in partnership with Preston City Council, we aim to address the issues of homelessness and rough sleeping across the city of Preston.
Fox Street provides a safe and reliable home. The staff team is on hand 24 hours a day and offer help, advice and guidance to assist residents to move on and live independently.
The community is committed to support and empower people to make a positive change in their lives.
The dedicated staff team can assist with helping to access services addressing a wide range of issues such as:
Here are some success stories from this project which is supported by Methodist Action.
Note: Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.
Fred is a 40 year old male who had spent the majority of his adult life going in and out of prison. He arrived at Preston City Council in October 2012; he had just been released from Preston Prison. Fred was referred to Fox Street Community the following day.
When Fred arrived at Fox Street to be assessed he explained to staff that he was feeling very anxious and he was unsure if we would be able to support him due to his past.
Fred disclosed in interview that he had committed numerous offences over a 20 year history. To name but a few, some of the offences were:
Enclosed with Fred’s referral was a letter from HMP Preston Psychological Well Being Practitioner, stating there were significant concerns regarding Fred’s mental health deteriorating if he were to be released with no fixed abode. Fred was suffering from social phobia, heightened anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia, OCD, (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) he was also addicted to heroin. Fred further disclosed in interview that there had been some abuse in his childhood that he was not yet able to face.
Following Fred’s assessment staff liaised with many external agencies in order to gage if it would be possible to co-ordinate an agency multi-care plan. It was felt by staff at Fox Street Community that a multi agency support plan would ensure Fred received a holistic yet person centred support plan that would support Fred with all areas of concern.
Staff ensured the police were involved in Fred’s support plan to ensure all risk was managed for Fred and for Fox Street Community staff. Fred was called back into Fox Street to discuss his support needs, together it was agreed that he would move in and begin to take small steps towards changing his life.
Fred moved into Fox Street Community the following day and began his first day by putting together his support plan with his assigned keyworker. The list below states the plan of action, which would be the base of Freds support sessions. The plan would be monitored and reviewed weekly using SMART targets.
Fred set about taking one day at a time; he worked well with all the support offered and attended up to 4 keywork sessions per week within Fox Street Community. Fred’s keyworker supported him to attend all external appointments; Fred obtained a prescription for methadone in November 2012. In addition his keyworker submitted a referral to the CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) team.
Fred now began to address the abuse he had suffered as a child and for the first time he stated he felt he had answer for his past behaviour. He began a creative writing course in March 2013 and had the opportunity to express all his inner thoughts and feelings. He has spent many hours speaking with staff at Fox Street he now understands he is not a bad person. He continued to engage well for a number of months.
In May 2013 together with staff Fred completed his housing application for Methodist Action second stage accommodation. This was successful and he moved into his own tenancy in August 2013.
Fred’s keyworker has ensured that Fred has a continued support plan and will continue to receive regular support from Methodist Action and all external agencies to ensure his continued success.
Fred sat with staff at Fox Street Community in May 2013 and completed his application for University. He is due to start a Social Work Foundation Degree in September 2013.
Sam, age 21, came to live at Fox Street Community in April 2012 due to a relationship breakdown. This was Sam’s first time being homeless. At the time, he had no one to turn to and he had no support from his family. Sam struggled to cope with the way his life had ended up and he felt alone in the world.
Sam’s feeling of hopelessness began to have a negative impact upon his emotional wellbeing and very soon after moving into Fox Street Community Sam’s mental health determinate. Sam was now injecting heroin and was having visual hallucinations.
The staff at Fox Street tried to engage Sam, but at this point he did not want to know. His behavior became erratic and unpredictable. The police were called following an incident and Sam was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Sam was admitted into hospital and underwent treatment for his mental health. Two months later, Sam returned to Fox Street Community a different person. He was no longer having hallucinations and his mental health had stabilized. Sam began to engage with services to address his substance misuse and the Community Mental Health Team.
With joint support from the staff at Fox Street Community, Sam was able to develop his interests and become more confident. During his stay, he was encouraged to make new friends, to get involved in different activities and to take part in different social events. With this new focus and new goals to aim for, Sam gained a sense of self-worth and was looking at life in a more positive way. After nine months, Sam was ready and able to move on to more independent accommodation.
Since leaving Fox Street, Sam has kept in touch with staff, to let them know how well he is doing. It is clear Sam is grateful for the support he received, in a letter Sam wrote:
"I hope you are all doing well and I would like to thank you all for helping me get here, without all your support I don’t think I'd have seen Christmas. This is the start of my new life and it couldn’t have happened without all of you". (Sam)
Sam’s case is a great example of how Fox Street Community was there for someone in need and, despite a difficult start, they did not give up and continued to get him the right support. The staff at Fox Street Community would like to pass on this gratitude to all their supporters within the Methodist Church, because without your continued support the outcome of this case may have been very different.
The following quotes are from letters received by the project from some of those that were helped:
I came to Preston because of a girl I was seeing at the time. I was staying at this girl’s friend’s house in Preston. After about 8 months we split up. Her friend said I could still stay with her short-term, but she had three kids, and I was sleeping on her settee, so it was difficult at times. She told me about Fox Street, so I went to find out about it and moved in.
My first meeting went well, I was nervous about moving in with 20 strangers! But it went well, and I got on with everyone straight away, we were all in there for the same reason after all. All the staff were very helpful, they showed me my room, which was clean and tidy, there was only a bed, wardrobe and drawers but it was enough for me!
There was also a shower room and laundry room. There was a rest area with a TV, so you can just sit and relax. There is also a kitchen which provided your breakfast, lunch and a cooked dinner. I lived there for about five months altogether, when I was offered my own flat. I told the staff I was taking it and got a free weeks stay there while I sorted my new flat out (you need to pay a small amount of ‘rent’ out of your benefits to Fox Street). The staff helped me get a fridge and cooker for my new place, they also help you sort out your housing benefit, and all your other bills.
I’m now in my own flat, and it’s great! I still pop into Fox Street for a brew now and then, see the staff and some of the lads who were there when I was.
When I came to Fox Street, it was a relief to have my own room with bed, wardrobe and key to my own room, no more having toothbrushes at everyone’s house, and clothes scattered at different house.
To anyone who is homeless and is thinking about going to Fox Street and might have a worry about being bullied, since I’ve been here I’ve never seen anyone being bullied and there is a zero tolerance towards this, I’ve seen people chucked out for pushing someone, as far as staff I’ve not got one bad word for anyone of them, and I’m thankful to them all.
First of all I would like to thank all the staff at Fox Street for all their concern and help. I was homeless for about 4 years or so living on people’s couches and on the street. I looked into the new Fox Street and I was really surprised at what I saw, the staff were really friendly and helpful, the whole place had a good feel factor.
It is clean and comfortable and staff that would vend over backwards to help you and if they couldn’t help they would find somebody who could, nothing was impossible.
Christmas is a time for celebration but for Fox Street residents it can be a particularly poignant time. Many have lost contact with their families or, for one reason or another, are unable to celebrate with them. Some choose not to get in touch with them. Often the day itself is quite subdued, with residents staying in bed till late in the morning.
However, through the great generosity of our supporters, many of whom are members of the Methodist Church, the season comes alive and is filled with excitement and activity. Donations of food, Christmas gifts, clothing, toiletries and money come pouring through the door throughout December at all times of the day and evening. Residents take an eager interest in the boxes and bags which are delivered to reception. The store room is filled with tins, packets and mince pies, and the kitchen overflows with turkey, fresh fruit and vegetables for the Christmas meal and beyond. Bags of coins from collections made by local businesses have to be counted, and frequently cheques arrive from anonymous donors who just want to express concern for those less fortunate than themselves. The whole community is grateful for the generous gifts which, in this difficult economic climate, greatly help the community to supplement its increasingly tight budget.
The staff and residents alike realise that it is important to share the benefits received at Harvest time and Christmas. There are only so many cabbages and mince pies that one community can consume before their ‘use by’ date! Methodist Action is happy to support local food banks and other charitable agencies in the town and to give food, clothing and other items to those in need.
Methodist Action wishes to thank all donors and volunteers for their practical involvement with the charity as they give of their time and resources to help others.