Lotus Sanctuary CIC is a community interest company with the pure and simple intention of housing and empowering vulnerable women who are facing homelessness.
The idea behind Lotus Sanctuary CIC was born out of the true story of a woman in Wolverhampton who was homeless and in hospital undergoing a medical detox from alcohol. The dilemma this woman faced was both seemingly simple and heart-breaking. Her only options were either a women’s refuge, which would only house her once she was 6 weeks clean and sober, or a male dominated hostel rife with drugs, alcohol and exploitation. This led us to ask the naïve question, surely there are more services that exist for women in such a situation? The answer in 2018 was no.
Thus the seed was planted for what has become Lotus Sanctuary CIC, a not for profit providing Transitional Housing with empowerment and support for vulnerable women. We made our beginnings by leasing a property in Wolverhampton from a local landlord. By October 2018 we had another property, and in November we were moving our first residents in. Our first residents were rough sleepers, moving into the property straight from the street. This trend of housing rough sleepers continued as we continued growing. Moving forwards into 2019, we continued to grow, opening transitional housing with empowerment and support in Sandwell and Walsall.
Further to this we began to also house women suffering different issues. We opened self contained houses for mothers escaping domestic violence and abuse. We also started catering for women with substance misuse issues.
In 2020 we continued this growth, growing our base in Wolverhampton and opening new branches across the UK. In Leicester we opened a house specifically for women leaving prison, out of which our Phoenix Project was born. We are now operational across the UK, with over 400 units of Transitional Housing. We continue to meet the rising demand of women who are homeless or facing homelessness.
Wrap Around Support
After the crucial need of safe, secure accommodation has been met and our resident has been rehoused our support is structured around the resident’s core issues and needs. Each resident is assigned a Housing and Empowerment Coach who along with the resident tailors an empowerment plan.
The resident and their dedicated Housing and Empowerment Coach set goals to work towards based on this empowerment plan, focusing on intensive housing management and equipping them with the confidence and skills to move into independent living. We walk hand in hand with our residents in developing the skills and confidence needed to rebuild their lives and continue on their journey upwards.
We offer the residents emotional and practical support to aid the healing process and to solve on-going issues and alongside this partner with local services and organisations to deliver specialist wrap around support based on their needs.
Our holistic approach towards recovery involves physical, mental, emotional and spiritual activities including: yoga, art therapy, regular rambling excursions, cooking, healthy eating classes and CV workshops. All of this is done with the aim of rebuilding residents’ confidence and self-esteem, equipping them with the tools they need to face various life challenges.
The Lotus Blossoms
Our hopes and aspirations for our residents is that they recover from the issues that led them to us, whether that be domestic abuse or domestic violence, rough sleeping, substance misuse or no fault evictions.
None of our residents ended up in the position of reaching out for help by choice; so it’s our duty to do our utmost to assist them on the path to recovery when they do reach out. We do this by considering each resident on an individual basis and supporting their recovery by linking up with specialist support.
As a company our goal is to keep expanding to meet the needs of vulnerable women in our community, and we truly believe that we have the perfect team for the job. Success looks different on a case by case basis, but with the passion and dedication shown by our staff, we can say with confidence that we will always do our utmost in supporting the women in our care on their journey of recovery.
The demand for our services is always growing and shows no sign of easing. Homelessness is a serious issue in the UK, with stats showing that it is only on the rise. As demand grows, so does our dedication to meet the demand. This drives us to continue to grow the service we deliver. We have the aim of having 2000 units of supported housing in the UK by the end of 2021.