Women thank Portsmouth charity for giving them a home

Three women have thanked an organisation which helped them find a home – and will benefit from The News Comfort and Joy Campaign this year.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 6:00 am
Portsmouth Churches Housing Association who house vulnerable young women and their families in three hostels across Portsmouth. Pictured is: (l-r) Jade Moth (25), Leanne Felton (28) and Nicola Britton (27) who have been helped by the association. Picture: Sarah Standing (101219-3347)

Portsmouth Churches Housing Association (PCHA), which was established in 1911, provides accommodation for families and individuals in three hostels across the city.

For 25-year-old Jade Moth, the charity was a beacon of hope when she found herself on the streets due to complicated relationships with her family.

She said: ‘My friend suggested I should get in contact with Portsmouth Churches Housing Association for a room.

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Portsmouth Churches Housing Association who house vulnerable young women and their families in three hostels across Portsmouth. Pictured is: (l-r) Jade Moth (25), Lee Pitassi, housing officer, Leanne Felton (28) and Nicola Britton (27) who have been helped by the association and Chris Green, housing manager. Picture: Sarah Standing (101219-3359)

‘I wasn’t really aware of other charities like Salvation Army. But I had all the help I needed when I came here.’

Within a week, Jade was housed in PCHA's accommodation in Somers Road, Southsea, and has now been there for five years. Jade says that she put her college friend Nicola Britton in contact with PCHA when she was sofasurfing.

Nicola, 27, said: ‘I contacted the PCHA because I knew they helped my friend Jade. I know her from when we went to Havant and South Downs college.

‘I was sofa-surfing for a while but then I found accommodation here.’

Jade adds: ‘She told me she was looking for somewhere more stable and then they spoke to Nicola.’

Across three hostels – St Monica's House, Portsmouth; St Paul’s House, Southsea; and Somers Road House – PCHA have homed 24 families and seven single women.

Leanne Felton also lives in Somers Road and was housed there when she came to Portsmouth from the Isle of Wight.

Mum Leanne, 28, said: ‘I was living on the Isle of Wight and my mum died so I moved here with my little boy.

‘The help I have been given is really good. It’s also given us a great friendship as well.'

The PCHA has been involved in our Comfort and Joy Campaign for the past few years and last year, Jade, Nicola and Leanne all received supermarket vouchers.

Jade, who volunteers at Kings Church Food Bank, said: ‘The vouchers are really good. They help us so much.

‘Last year, we put all of our vouchers together and cooked a Christmas dinner.

‘The voucher gives us the opportunity to get something we like.’

THE COMFORT AND JOY CAMPAIGN

Tesco stores in Fratton, Cosham, Fareham and Crasswell Street, Portsmouth, have taken in The News Comfort and Joy Christmas campaign letterboxes so members of public can post their £5 vouchers.

The News Comfort and Joy Campaign, which launched at the end of November, works in partnership with Churches Homeless Action to provide gift vouchers for the city’s most vulnerable individuals at Christmas.

The campaign will benefit 11 local charities who support those who are homeless, recovering from addiction, victims of domestic abuse, seeking asylum and struggling families.

Those charities are:

- Catherine Booth House (The Salvation Army): Providing support for homeless families – (023) 9273 6544

- Friends Without Borders: Support for asylum seekers whilst their applications are processed – (023) 9283 9222

- Hope House (Two Saints): Provides night beds for rough sleepers – 01329 234600

- Portsmouth Churches Housing Association: Runs three hostels for the homeless young families and single women – (023) 9229 7877

- Portsmouth Foyer and All Saints Hostel (Two Saints): Supported accommodation for young people – (023) 9236 0001

- The Roberts Centre: Supports over 1000 families in the Portsmouth area – (023) 9229 6919

- Society of St James: Outreach work with homeless people not engaging with other services and a day centre – (023) 9286 1423

- Stop Domestic Abuse: Provides emergency respite for women and children – (023) 9248 0246

- St Simon’s Church: Provides Sunday suppers and support for homeless people – (023) 9282 9440

- Two Saints: For homeless people in Fareham, Gosport, Havant and Portsmouth – 01329 234600

- The LifeHouse: A drop-in for people whose lives are affected by homelessness and addiction, offering hot meals and clothing – 07713 198 045

To get involved, simply buy a Christmas card and write a message – but do not put your name or address.

Purchase a £5 supermarket gift card and put it into the card, but do not seal the envelope.

Then, place in a large envelope (seal this one) and place in a Tesco store post box or send to Deanery Office, St Faith's Church, Crasswell Street, Portsmouth, PO1 1HT to arrive before December 17.

The letterboxes will also be in stores until December 17 and then will be handed to the eleven charities at a carol service at St Mary’s Church, Fratton, on December 20.

To learn more about how a £5 Comfort and Joy donation could change a life, read case studies at portsmouth.co.uk.