The story began back in 2015, when a group of friends joined a soup run in Birmingham city centre and saw first-hand the true impact of homelessness. They saw the importance of the support that’s provided, but also gaps in provision that meant certain members of society were being overlooked.

From that evening, the group shared a commitment to take positive action to address the problem of homelessness on Birmingham’s streets, working alongside existing services to bridge gaps and provide support that complemented what was already out there.

The group called themselves iShelter and formed a Management Committee full of brilliant property, marketing and third sector minds, to help bring a new project to fruition. That project was called Tabor House, and it’s where it all began!

Bringing Tabor House to life

Tabor House wouldn’t have been possible without the determination and commitment of our Management Committee. From personal donations and corporate fundraising to physical boots on the ground to bring the project to life, they have been the driving force behind Tabor House since day one.

After two years of planning, fundraising and renovations, Tabor House opened in September 2017 next to St Anne’s Church in Digbeth. Initially, we had six beds available in our open-plan space, later increasing to 12 as the project found its feet and saw how best to support guests.

We pride ourselves on being an inclusive project, welcoming people from all backgrounds. It’s one of the things that makes Tabor House unique, as we’re able to provide support to those with no recourse to public funds (NRPF), who often struggle to get the help they need. That said, we have strong links with the local community in Digbeth and, in particular, the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham who have been a real support to us and our guests.

Father Hudson’s Care

Our early links with the church saw an introduction to Father Hudson’s Care, the social care agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham. They share our overall aim of helping people to improve their lives through tailored help and support, and both Tabor House and Tabor Cottage operate under the charity.

Founded in 1902, Father Hudson’s Care reaches people from Staffordshire, across Birmingham and through to Oxford. Through community projects they support marginalised people, including refugees, asylum seekers and migrants; those experiencing homelessness; older people; and deprived communities.

Father Hudson’s Care delivers community-based activities including information, advice, social activities, English and learning, food distribution, befriending, and user involvement. Their experienced team support three community accommodation projects in Birmingham, including Tabor House and Tabor Cottage; as well as four independent charities and three community centres.

The small team behind the Tabor Living projects are employed and managed by Father Hudson’s Care.

Introducing Tabor Living

When we first launched Tabor House, it was a permanent night shelter with six beds, later increasing to 12 beds. Through our small staff team and dedicated volunteers, we offered shelter, food and access to essential supplies, as well more holistic support including numeracy and literacy skills, health checks, help to overcome addiction, employability training and much more.

The work that we do has always used strength-based mentoring to positively encourage and support people to achieve their goals. Rather than ticking boxes about what they can’t do because of their living situation, we focus on each person’s needs and strengths, empowering them to take back control.

The success of our strength-based approach saw us help over 100 people in the first few years.

We quickly saw the need for move-on accommodation for some of our guests, especially those who were thriving in employment. An opportunity came along for us to take over a three-bedroom house, and with the help of our property partners, we created Tabor Cottage.

Over the past couple of years, the growth and impact of what we do has enabled us to be even more ambitious. This is why we rebranded our activities under the banner of Tabor Living; allowing us to celebrate the history of Tabor House, whilst also looking to future projects.

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