Green Pastures Derby is a 24/7 supported living home for up to 28 men, a dry house meaning no one can drink in or out of the project and each person must access the support provided.
Green Pastures don't just house the homeless but help the homeless. Creating homes that bring hope, dignity and self-worth along with opportunities for changed lives and transformed hearts. We believe in giving people a chance to build and improve their lives and that nobody should be left behind in having that opportunity. Ultimately, our source of meaning is from God. We believe that God cares for and loves each individual and wants them to have a better life and to find him.
Homelessness brings its own complexities with those that have become homeless, and they need different pathways and routes towards change.
Having seen the importance of training, education, voluntary work and recreation in the process of recovery, we developed the Ten Hours Plus initiative. This means that every resident must engage in a minimum of ten hours of work, training, voluntary or recreational activities per week. Those activities are provided either by Green Pastures, in house, or through networking and partnership with local organisations. We also provide in house groups that deal with the underlying issues at the heart of addiction. We have a simple structure that has brought stability, hope and change to many residents over the years with encouraging stories of residents that have managed to turn their lives around.
One of our residents 'CT' has been with us since October 2021. His life was quite chaotic as he came to us with an addiction to alcohol. He engaged fully with the Ten Hours Plus program. He completed a 10-week 'cooking in the community' course. Over the course, the tutor recognised that he displayed a natural ability to help others around him. He considered doing some voluntary experience with Derby Adult Learning. However, in the meantime, he started to help with the cooking in the house and wasn't at all phased with cooking for 28 residents. This was included in his Ten Hours Plus program. His cleaning skills are second to none and his natural progression was to assist the Housekeeper with her duties. More recently, a month ago, he was accepted onto our in-house 'volunteer training' program. Since then, he has excelled in his training and has passed the following on-line courses: First Aid Awareness and Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults. He has almost finished a stage 1 Bookkeeping course; his exams are booked for next week and his plans are to continue by moving on to stage 2 Bookkeeping. We are incredibly pleased with CT's progress to date. What a transformation! He is also one of our candidates for our "move-on" house.
We make a lifelong commitment to each person. 'CT' feels the reason he's done so well is that we at GP Derby believed in him and gave him a chance. It has been a partnership and he has made some good choices in the end. CT had a few 'notice to quits', but has worked through these and neither of us have given up.
Many residents have progressed to becoming mentors, voluntary workers and others have gone back into full time education or back into the workplace. Some are now working in the supported housing sector. Amid ever-increasing homeless statistics Green Pastures is showing to a world today that there is hope, there is a way out.
Sonia Robinson, Project Manager, Green Pastures Derby