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History of our Homeless Charity

Foundation was born in 1984 in Leeds, set up by a small team of visionary probation officers who were determined to provide homes and ‘wrap around support’ for those leaving prison.

This fundamental belief that a home and a place in the community are vital for successful rehabilitation is still at the heart of all that Foundation does. Since our inception, we’ve supported over 50,000 people to build new lives, and have extended our work to include young people, care leavers, families affected by domestic abuse and homeless people across 20 towns and cities in the North of England.

Our principle area of business is ensuring that ‘at risk’ individuals, such as the vulnerable or socially excluded, avoid homelessness and are given the support needed to find appropriate housing.

Building on a firm foundation

Our holistic approach and commitment to reviewing, adapting and improving our services has seen Foundation grow substantially over the last 30 years.

We now offer a complementary range of tailored support services to help people facing the following challenges:

  • Leaving prison
  • Leaving care
  • Domestic abuse
  • Learning difficulties
  • Substance misuse
  • Health issues
  • Mental health issues
  • Low income
  • Homeless individuals and families
  • Homeless adults with complex needs
  • Lack of employment history and/or skills

Through our teams’ dedication to our core values and mission, we work with a range of partners including housing providers, health and social services, education and employment providers, and drug and alcohol services to provide individual support plans for our clients – helping them to take control of their lives and become fully integrated and valued members of our community.

Our Success

We’re really proud of our performance over the years and have loads of success stories to share . Our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) show that on leaving our service:

  • 83% of clients are living in suitable accommodation in their area of choice
  • 29% are in education, employment, or training
  • 83% have access to a computer and the internet
  • 25% are involved in a club, society or community activity

Our services have achieved high performance standards, such as our recent assessments for QAF, BQAF and QIF in North Yorkshire and Bradford (2013), and Wakefield and Lancashire (2014), where we achieved a Level A.

Foundation is the lead organisation for the North Yorkshire Young People’s Pathway, a partnership approach to the commissioning and delivery of services across the county. In the North East, we’re providing a ‘Through the Gate’ service to enable short-term offenders leaving prison to access housing immediately, contributing to reduced rates of re-offending. In Doncaster, York, and North Yorkshire, we provide specialist services to young people leaving care.

The majority of our funding comes via housing related support, and related services commissioned by local authorities. A smaller proportion of our income is generated from rent and grant funding. On average we engage with 4,000 – 5,000 clients per year.

Our services have achieved high performance standards, such as our recent assessments for QAF, BQAF and QIF in North Yorkshire and Bradford (2013), and Wakefield and Lancashire (2014), where we achieved a Level A.

Foundation is the lead organisation for the North Yorkshire Young People’s Pathway, a partnership approach to the commissioning and delivery of services across the county. In the North East, we’re providing a ‘Through the Gate’ service to enable short-term offenders leaving prison to access housing immediately, contributing to reduced rates of re-offending. In Doncaster, York, and North Yorkshire, we provide specialist services to young people leaving care.

The majority of our funding comes via housing related support, and related services commissioned by local authorities. A smaller proportion of our income is generated from rent and grant funding.

On average we engage with 4,000 – 5,000 clients per year.

Key Events

In 2014 Foundation celebrated 30 years of working to create a fairer world, recognising how far we have come and also how much more we need to do. This is our story...

2014
New Management Structure
A new management structure was brought in to support the growth and development of the charity.
2013
New Tameside Service and New Chief Executive
New service in Tameside to provide for people with complex needs. Steve Woodford leaves Foundation after almost 30 years and Maggie Jones takes over as the Chief Executive in June.
2012
RSL, Springboard and Domestic Abuse Service
Gain Registered Social Landlord (RSL) status. Launch of the Big Lottery Funded Springboard project for young people leaving care in York, Selby and Ryedale. Redcar and Cleveland Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Service transfers to Foundation.
2011
Recognition
10th in the Sunday Times best Public & Third Sector Companies to work for.
2009
Anniversary, Rebrand, Merger and GROW
Foundation’s 25 year Anniversary (Silver). Rebrand from Foundation Housing to Foundation. Merged with Scarborough Domestic Abuse Service. (250 staff) GROW developed to support our customers to become colleagues.
2008
Recruitment, Training and Heading North
First intake of trainers represents new approach to recruiting and training our own support staff. Plans are made to extend trainee opportunity to customers via GROW partnership with a number of other agencies including West Yorkshire Probation. Expand to Durham and Darlington with a new ex-offender scheme, which brings the first steps across the North Yorkshire border.
2006
Together Women Project
Together Women Project established and floated as a separate charity in 2010 with women’s centres in Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Hull.
2004
Another Milestone
Providing supported housing to over 2000 people plus training and advice.
2003
New Home & Home and Dry
We buy our first building – Tennant Hall in Leeds. Merged with Home and Dry in Scarborough. (170 staff)
2001
Quality
Our own Quality Assurance launched via annual team audits.
1999
Name Change, Awards and Honours
Change of name to Foundation Housing to reflect our more diverse customer group. Our Housing Advice to Black and Asian prisoners (HABAP) wins a national innovation award. Steve Woodford collects an MBE on behalf of all colleagues.
1998
500 Beds
Now reach 500 bed spaces and the turnover hits £2.5m
1996
Investors in People and North Yorkshire Teams
Achieve Investors in People (IIP) accreditation. North Yorkshire teams established, building on mergers with small local charities in Craven, Harrogate and Selby. (50 staff)
1995
Mergers
Leeds Young Persons Housing Trust merges with us providing 25 beds for young people. Later merging with Leeds Independent Living Team to form Grove housing Team.
1993
Winning Ways
Timble wins a tender with Leeds Social Services to provide for young people – our first non-offenders team.
1991
Further Provision
Timble Housing Project funded by West Yorkshire Probation to expand provision to Bradford Calderdale Kirklees Wakefield.
1990
New Partnerships
Project expands across West Yorkshire via more Probation funding and new partnerships with Housing Associations and Local Authorities. (30 staff)
1988
Milestone
500 people now accommodated in Leeds.  (16 staff)
1986
Expansion
Expansion of provision to housing provided by: Leeds City Council Ridings Housing Association North British Housing Association Sanctuary Housing Association.
1984
The Beginning
Timble Housing Project formed and registered as an independent charity – staffed by four probation secondees and one direct employee. (5 staff)

“A huge, well-earned thank you is due to all the staff, customers and sponsors who have contributed to Foundation’s success which we will continue to build on in the years ahead.”

Foundation UK

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