MYTHBUSTER: Homeless shelters are run down and dirty!

People can be nervous when they arrive at CENS as the preconceived ideas of a ‘homeless shelter’ aren’t exactly encouraging. They imagine grimy interiors with dorms and shared bathrooms. However, we hope that CENS facilities are a pleasant surprise for everyone.

Thanks to a lottery grant that manager Marina worked hard to secure, CENS now has 15 single occupancy rooms complete with en-suite. We’ve found that since the refurb, guests are better able to cope with staying here. Our stats show that fewer people are ‘abandoning’. Having their own space where they can process their situation seems to be vital in getting the positive outcomes, we all want.

Their own haven

Guests tend to take better care of their rooms now they aren’t sharing with others. Rooms are checked every day and staff rarely pull people up on cleanliness. Having their own space (often for the first time in months) means they take ownership and pride in keeping their rooms in order. It’s also a way for them to express their personality and creative side, which is important for wellbeing.

Tip top kitchen

Our kitchen and food store were recently given 5* by environmental health. The inspector who visited sang the praises of kitchen co-ordinator Emma who had only just started.

We run the kitchen here like any food outlet with exceptional standards of cleanliness and organisation. Residents can use the facilities if they clean up afterwards and are respectful of the time and effort staff go to keep the place in order.

Garden oasis

We also have a garden where our guests can enjoy the green space. Karen comes in to spruce it up and keep on top of the weeds. Residents are also encouraged to do some weeding when they feel up to it. Using their hands and focusing on the moment is a proven way to reduce anxiety.

CENS Essential Shopping List

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Hot chocolate
  • UHT milk
  • Squash
  • Vgetable oil
  • Gravy granules
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper
  • Stock cubes
  • Herbs and spices
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned/packet custard
  • Baked beans
  • Tinned tuna
  • Tinned vegetables & potatoes
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Kidney beans
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Jam, peanut butter, chocolate spread
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Men & women’s deodorant
  • Men’s razors
  • Shave gel
  • Shower gel
  • Toothpaste
  • Cloths
  • Scourers
  • Washing up liquid
  • Surface cleaners
  • Floor cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Bathroom cleaners
  • Bin bags
  • Food caddy liners
  • Loo roll
  • Washing tablets
  • AA batteries
  • NEW single duvets
  • Pillows/pillowcases
  • Single duvet covers/sheets
  • Clean/good condition towels

Please no soups!
Thank you