The project was based in Spencers Road and opened as Crawley Community Resources Centre. The project’s aim was to provide an advice and resource centre for those suffering from the effects of homelessness, unemployment, loneliness and discrimination.
Overnight accommodation was provided for the first time. This was in the form of emergency cold weather beds.
On Christmas Eve, a small number of redundant site offices were sited on the ground at the rear of the centre. These were converted to provide twelve single and four double rooms plus an office, a shower, a toilet and a laundry block.
The hostel and resource centre merged to form Crawley Open House.
A new management structure was introduced which comprised of a Director, Project Manager, seven other full time staff, three part-time staff, sessional workers and volunteers. It also saw the introduction of the resettlement process, key-workers and life-skill classes.
We purchased and moved into new premises in Three Bridges. These premises were redesigned and refurbished to our specification enabling us to increase our bed spaces to twenty-four. We were also able to open a small medical centre with facilities for a Doctor, Nurse Practitioner, CPN, counsellors and health visitors. Each of these was now able to be in attendance for a number of hours each week.
We started to open our main day centre on seven days each week. Our staff team also increased to include a senior manager and mental health support worker. We now had seventeen full-time staff, four part-time, sessional staff and volunteers.
Christmas Eve marked the tenth anniversary of us providing hostel accommodation. In that time we had supported over 3,000 hostel residents in our hostel, 85,000 clients in our day-centre and resettled over 1,600 clients into appropriate accommodation.
We opened Southwell Lodge – a ten bed hostel offering a high level of support to young people who would otherwise be homeless. The new staff at the Lodge take our team to thirty-two staff (full time and part time) plus our sessional staff and volunteers.
We appointed a Deputy Director to strengthen our senior management team.
We open move-on accommodation for five Riverside residents that are almost ready for independent living. We are also very grateful to be nominated as the Mayor’s charity for 2009.
We appointed a Senior Manager to complete the management structure, We were made official charity for the Crawley Festival. We start work on building a first floor on part of Riverside House to improve the facilities that we can offer to clients. Our Director, Peter Mansfield-Clark, was awarded the MBE for his work with homeless and disadvantaged people.
The first floor is completed and in use. We were named the 'Champion Carers' in the first ever Crawley Champions Awards. We appeared on BBC 1 "Cash in the Attic", on South East News and also on Channel 4 News.
We start a major fundraising programme to upgrade our main kitchen in Riverside House, After eleven years of producing over 100 meals a day it is just worn out. We are trying to raise £50,000.
We ended our relationship with Southwell Lodge as it passed to the management of YMCA. We set up an Outreach Team to work with street drinkers and substance abusers
We raised almost £55,000 and had a new professional kitchen designed, built and equipped. A second appeal raised £10,000 to enable us to replace our very old and very dead van.
We opened our second second and third Move On Houses
We start an appeal to raise £8,000 to equip a new laundry room.