Aztec House provides single accommodation for both males and females who have been or are at risk of being homeless for longer periods. Typically residents would have experienced long periods of homelessness including rough sleeping and will have complex health, addiction or mental health needs.
Aztec House forms part of a complex of buildings which also house our emergency accommodation and the Drunk & Incapable Unit. A building adjacent to our emergency facility was purchased with a donation from the J.N Sommer Charitable Trust and opened in October 2004. The buildings within the complex effectively operate as one building now which is known as Aztec House.
Purpose: To provide safe, high-support, longer-term accommodation for homeless adults.
Accommodation: 22 persons (single occupancy). Staff on duty 24hrs. Dining, bathroom and laundry facilities are shared. There are limited facilities for disabled residents. There is an accommodation charge of £102-50 per week.
Services: Assessment, key working, advocacy, supported access to services (housing, health, drug and alcohol, counselling, mental health, community bank), emplyment and training advice, meals, laundry.
Access: Referral by individual or agency.
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Prior to the opening of Aztec House many of the residents would have lived between emergency accommodation (claiming a bed by the night) and rough sleeping; some for many years. Aztec House allowed Shelter to provide some security to some extremely vulnerable men and women.
Residents have their own rooms for as long as they need them. They have their own keys and are encouraged to individualise their rooms as they please. The rooms are furnished and have televisions, kettle and safes.
Meals are provided in the communal dining room and residents have use of two communal lounge areas which have televisions and a computer with internet access.
Residents have dedicated keyworkers with whom they work to address their support needs. Keyworkers will always promote moving on to more suitable accommodation where that is an achievable option.
During the summer the residents and staff at Aztec House got together to plan out and create a courtyard garden. With a small budget, using donated plants and furniture and by their own labour they created a beautiful and peaceful place to relax and let the worries of the world pass by.
The garden project was organised as part of our ‘meaningful activities’ programme where staff and residents get together and organise activities that are both meaningful and hopefully enjoyable.
The courtyard garden is a great addition to our facilities at Aztec House.