What is home?

At Ark resettlement services we have a number of properties which we provide to the most vulnerable ex-offenders.

As they  build their new lives on the other side of the bars, the topic of ‘home’ arises – what makes a house, a home?

Home for many are the streets, a relatives car, an abandoned building. A recent study by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) found 8,096 rough sleeping according to their outreach workers in 2015/2016. Out of those caught sleeping rough a shocking 85% were male and around a third had been in prison.

With the help of our resettlement officers, we aim to explore this idea, helping our clients find independence and security in their new environment.

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” I just want security so I can focus on being a better man for myself and my family.” DT

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The concept of home is often a dream, a hope for stability, safety and acceptance. It goes beyond a roof and four walls; home represents a place of care where ex-offenders reintegrate into society and engage with their lives. The key question is how; how do we engage those tormented by personal demons, isolated, and vulnerable?

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“Home is where I decide I don’t need a bottle.” GG

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We often ask our service users why they want a place with Ark, because at Ark, we offer more than a room. We know that a real home after incarceration is place where ex-offenders can live their best life. We can connect them with organisations who will help them gain skills for future employment, learn how to budget, and cook a meal instead of dining at the local chicken shop. They can lie on their beds and reflect on the day knowing that their home is secure.

Our service users have ambition. Some have educational aspirations, taking time to learn a new skill.  Some have an entrepreneurial spirit, hoping to set up an enterprise that gives back to their community. For others, the challenges are more personal – staying sober, reconnecting with family and friends, resisting their triggers.

Home, is the chance after the second chance.