During the Covid-19 Virus please note that our drop-in service will be operating on restriced hours – 10am-12noon for essential services only.
Emergency aid, benefits advice and housing advice.
Please ring the bell and one of our volunteers will come out.
We will be limiting the number of people in the building at any one time, and would kindly ask you to observe social distancing at all times, for your safety and our volunteers.
Open House is a community drop-in service which is open to all every Tuesday from 10am – 2pm.
Within a friendly “coffee shop” environment, a number of different services are offered, including but not limited to:
- Emergency Food Aid provided by Gillingham Food Bank. During periods of crisis we are able to provide clients with food parcels, subject to some criteria. We can also provide household cleaning and toiletries packs.
- Benefit advisor: We have professionally trained benefit advisors. These advisors will be able to advise which benefits clients are entitled to, help make benefit applications and help with benefit appeals.
- Housing Advisor: We have trained housing advisors to help clients make an application for social housing, help support with issues such as overcrowding and anti-social behaviour.
- Budgeting and debt advice: We have volunteers who will be able to give budgeting advice and some basic debt support, or signpost to a specialist debt support charity.
- Support Service: Our volunteers will be able to help in a variety of ways: CV writing and applying for jobs, applying for small grants from local charitable trusts, help with filling in forms and writing letters.
All services are free and confidential. All service are offered through trained professional staff.
The Key Objectives for Open House are:
• To serve our community in practical ways
• To deal with some of the effects of poverty in our community
• To offer some emergency aid to reduce the effects of poverty
• To make ourselves available to the most vulnerable in the community
• To offer services that families will usually have to travel (by limited public transport) to access
• To help families transition from state welfare into employment
• To provide a safe relaxing coffee shop environment for people to access essential support or just enjoy having some company
There is also more information and updates on our Facebook Page
For the latest Newsletter click here
Open House also runs Store House Shaftesbury – click here for more information.