HOMELESS youngsters in Kingshurst have transformed their hostel from ‘a prison to a home’ with the help of a local business.
After weeks of work by residents and staff at Morris House, and contractors from Olton-based Association of Interior Specialists, AIS, the building’s £22,000 refurbishment was officially reopened by the Mayor of Solihull.
Project worker Louise Harding said residents were delighted to see window bars, metal security shutters, and ‘drab and uninspiring’ interiors replaced with bright, welcoming decor and new computers.
“The clients described it as feeling like a prison,” said Louise. “We needed to make it more young and friendly.
“All the young people have got involved with the work, and some of them now want to follow that up as a job.”
“Clients are now proud of where they live.”
Morris House, run by Stonham Housing Association, provides support for 24 homeless people, aged 16-25, across Kingshurst with nine live-in residents.
Karl Sanders, aged 19, who moved into one of the organisation’s other hostels following problems at home, said he’d seen a ‘massive improvement.’
Former resident turned assistant project worker Wendy Laing, aged 23, believes the AIS project will transform residents’ relationship with the building. “When I was here it was quite regimented; you weren’t allowed colour. But now the clients have got more control over it– it makes it feel more like a home.”