Norwich charity for ex-offenders comes of age
A Norwich charity which offers supported accommodation to homeless men, many of whom are ex-offenders, has come of age and is marking its 21st anniversary.
Val Dodsworth founded the House of Genesis as a small registered Christian charity based in Thorpe St Andrew and on the east side of Norwich. It offers supported accommodation to homeless adult men, most of whom are ex-offenders.
She first became involved in prisoner rehabilitation at Langley House Trust, a charity led by ex-Japanese prisoner of war John Dodd. She then attended Middlesex Polytechnic and gained 20 years’ experience in the Probation Service, beginning in Corby in Northants, then after her marriage in Lowestoft, Ipswich, and Norwich.
Val later became a chaplain in Norwich prison, and after she had bought a six-bedroom house on the outskirts of Norwich the vision of the charity started to take shape. In 2015, she was made an MBE for her services to the homeless in Norwich.
Speaking of recent developments, Val said: “Our manager Alan Barker is now in his second year and is working together with other agencies in the homelessness field in Norwich. He has brought a greater degree of professionalism to the charity, coming as he does from a long career in residential work. The staff team of Support Workers has also changed, and we expect to be adding to it this year.
“We have added new properties in the last year, bringing the total up to 18 beds in 5 houses. We have needed to designate one en suite room for isolation so that every new resident spends his first two weeks there before being allocated to one of the houses.
“We thank God that we have so far been entirely Covid-free.”
You can read more about the charity on its website www.thehouseofgenesis.org
Pictured above is the House of Genesis home in Laundry Close in Norwich.
“Remember to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have entertained angels without knowing it”