New house for Norfolk Christian charity
Norfolk Christian project The House of Genesis is to open a new house West of Norwich to provide further accommodation for vulnerable men in the city.
The acquisition of the house on Dereham Road in Norwich, which was previously standing empty, means that The House of Genesis’ has doubled the number of rooms available, from five to ten, in the last few months.
The current property on Laundry Close in Thorpe has been recently extended with a new external en suite room in the converted garage. The new house is a 4-bedroom end terrace and will be in operation from March 2015.
The House of Genesis was founded by Val Dodsworth who started the project from her house in Sprowston in 2000. Fifteen years on, the team of staff and volunteers has grown. Val describes them as “Wonderfully motivated, innovative and go-ahead staff”. They are guided by a team of Christian trustees who have led the project since 2005.
The House of Genesis is run as a home for single homeless men. The accommodation is usually needed for between 9 and 15 months and is a stop-gap while the men find their feet again. Some of the residents are ex-offenders looking for a fresh start. Some are homeless, often due to a breakdown in a relationship. Most residents are aged between early 20s and early 40s.
Principles of basic respect are adhered to and there is a no alcohol and no drugs policy, making this a real opportunity for change. “Those things make us different; the lads feel very chilled here – they are wonderful lads” said Paula, one of the House of Genesis staff. There are no locks on the doors and the house has a real family feel – with Bertie the bulldog curled up on the office floor also a part of the family!
The project is unique in the way they will take almost anybody who needs help. No other hostels will take children or dogs. Project leader Donna said, “We took in a young lad and his dog who wouldn’t be separated and had been living in a tent locally. We supported them until they were able to move on from us.”
The team is excited about possible future plans to open a father and child unit.
The house on Dereham Road will be ready for its first residents within the next couple of weeks. Donna said, “I am looking forward to getting my teeth into our new project and home, and to being able to help many more lads as they re-start their disrupted life journeys.”
If you would like a speaker from The House of Genesis to come to your church or organisation, please contact Val on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in volunteering at the Dereham Road house, please contact email@example.com or 01603 435449
Visit The House of Genesis website at www.thehouseofgenesis.org
Pictured above: Donna, Paula and Val. Below: Current resident in Thorpe; Dan with Bertie and Donna