Oasis Aquila Housing are launching their second homeless centre ‘Basis Sunderland’ in Park Road Church in Sunderland this Thursday 1st February.

Basis Sunderland is based on the model of Basis@336 in Gateshead, the charity’s first resource centre, and will offer support and practical services to those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Basis offers a warm welcome to any individual whatever their circumstances, and runs as a drop-in style centre with no referrals needed so anyone can pop by. Whether it’s acts as simple as offering a cup of tea and a hot shower, or longer-term support with accessing stable housing and finding work, the charity aims to walk side by side with every individual and support them back into a home and a community.

Phil Conn, Head of Crisis Services at Oasis Aquila Housing commented, ‘Basis Sunderland gives us an exciting opportunity to replicate a service that has proved vital in a neighbouring borough. By creating a space of welcome for those with issues around homelessness we aim to work in partnership with existing provision to join up support to tackle the underlying issues of homelessness, whilst gathering around the individuals in a place they feel they belong.’

Although many churches in the city run food banks and offer lunches, Sunderland currently lacks any drop-in styleprovision for people sleeping rough or facing homelessness. By opening Basis Sunderland in direct response to this need, Oasis Aquila Housing hopes to support more homeless people into accommodation and react quickly to help anyone who finds themselves sleeping rough.

One individual at Basis@336 said, ‘Basis has been like a rock to me. If you don’t know how to fill forms out, they support you with it and they help with phoning other agencies.’