Gravesend Daytime Hub
Our drop in hub for the homeless is open Monday, Wednesday & Fridays 10am-12pm.
We offer hot drinks and breakfast, showers, laundry, clothing.
We are a registered charity and rely purely on donations.
With the help of some amazing volunteers we work as a team to ensure our guests feel cared for.
Our aim is to provide a safe and friendly environment for those most vulnerable and to help with their basic needs.
We also work with a variety of agencies including Porchlight, CGL, The Job Centre, Gravesham Council, Street Pastors, Sanctuary and Foodbank, as well as many more, in order to assist guests to find accommodation, offer guidance with addictions and completing forms.
Our charity number is 1132238.
We are grateful for any donations which can be handed into the Gravesend homeless hub located on Wilfred Street (rear of Gravesend Methodist Church).
Click here to watch a video which was produced following a drama production called "Staying Alive" which was presented at our church in conjunction with 'Walk Tall' highlighting the dangers of suicide amongst the homeless and vulnerablemembers of our community.
Click here to hear about our work as told to Parliament by Gravesham MP, Adam Holloway
If you would like to volunteer please get in touch with the Centre Manager Vicki Clarke on 01474 328249.
"Vicki, I need you!". Looking up from my desk, I see one of our regular users, completely inebriated, shouting, and swaying from side to side. As I walk over to her, she says, "I don't feel well", before collapsing on the ground and having a seizure. I shout to my colleague Kerrie to ring an ambulance and then shout for someone to pass me the Naloxone. (This is a drug used to reverse the effects of an overdose that almost all my volunteers are trained to use). As Kerrie gets through to the ambulance and Abbi (an outreach worker from Serveco) and I get ready to inject the Naloxone, the service user suddenly sits up and says, "Don't you dare inject me with that." I respond with, "OK, now you are responsive, so you don't need this," at which point she collapses into another seizure.
While this is going on another service user steps forward and says, "She is faking it, Vicki. She does it all the time." Again her seizures suddenly stop as she sits up and shouts at him for being nasty to her, before lying back down and having a third seizure. At this point we all realise it is an act and wait patiently for the drama to stop. When she realises the act is not fooling anyone, she then takes nine Valium pills out of her pocket and shoves them all in her mouth. She does not swallow them but refuses to spit them out saying she wants to die.
Meanwhile her friend who is also very drunk decides he is in fact her cousin and wants to fight with the world for making her upset. As I tell him to calm down and step away, Abbi stands in front of him and tells him to look at her and calm down. After a few raised voices the drama ended. Less than an hour later, both the girl and her "cousin" arrive at my office door with a beautiful card containing a written apology for their poor behaviour.
In the middle of the chaos a quieter guest is asking for help to fill in a form to get his citizen card and two others are requesting new clothing. We have another twelve guests sitting quietly eating their full English breakfast in the other room and three waiting on hot showers and for their clean laundry to be returned.
Serveco, CGL (a drug and alcohol charity), Gravesend Borough Council Housing Needs Team and Counselling Services are all available and work from the hub to help provide a holistic service to our guests. Our guests can speak with any agency attending the Hub and are able to get answers and help quickly. When situations arise like the one described above, it is helpful to have a multi-agency approach to diffuse and resolve difficult situations. Only by knowing each of the guests well are we able to gain their trust; knowing each guest's personality is important when deciding the best way to deal with their outbursts and emotions.
No two days are the same. Every day brings a new problem or situation that needs to be dealt with quickly. There is always a mixture of laughter and tears as we help those that are struggling. We can be the voice of reason, a mother or father figure, or a friend. The volunteers at the hub are all trained to be the support our guests need at a time of chaos in their lives. This is the work God gives us at the Gravesend Centre Hub. Vicki Clarke, Gravesend Hub Centre Manager
Vicki Clarke, Gravesend Hub Centre Manager