Abstinence-based supported living accommodation, Vitality Homes celebrates its second birthday with North West expansion.
Created by award-winning businesswoman Kate Stewart, who knows only too well the devastating effects that a person’s substance abuse can have on themselves and their family after experiencing the negative impact from family members, Vitality Homes has enabled its residents to flourish.
Damien John Kelly House, Vitality Homes’ site in Wavertree, opened back in July 2019 to intense opposition and fears that having residents that had formerly been addicted to drugs or alcohol would be problematic for the area.
However, since opening, the residents have become active members of society and heavily involved in the Wavertee community, with Vitality Homes helping over 50 men turn their lives around for the better.
The pandemic posed further challenges for the residents; like the wider public, their mental wellbeing was tested and their usual routine, classes and activities largely came to a stand still. But Kate and her talented team including Head of Service Jacquie Johnston-Lynch, continued to steer the centre, adapting and making it possible for the residents to continue on their recovery journeys.
To mark the two very successful years, Kate is expanding Vitality Homes and is currently viewing properties across the North West for her next supported living project.
Vitality Homes’ programme is centred around Sports, Arts and Culture, and since July 2019, its residents have been involved with the Love Wavertree team and the area’s Rose Garden Project as well as New Beginnings men’s mental health boxing club, Recovery Rovers Football Club, Bikiosk Cycling and various community hubs.
The residents and staff are also featured in a new documentary about the life of one of the residents at DJK House and they are also making a short comedy film about a crime that goes wrong.
Their latest project is a gallery exhibition of their own photography.
Kate Stewart said:
“I’m immensely proud of all that the staff and residents have achieved over the last two years since we opened. Initially, it was very difficult for fellow residents of Wavertree to understand how Vitality Homes could make such a difference but now it’s clear for everyone to see. We’ve had so many success stories and residents reaching a point in recovery where they have moved out to rent a property and have also secured a job for themselves, living more independent lives and carrying everything they’ve learned at Vitality Homes through to the next stage in their lives.
She added: “We’ve now helped over 50 men become better and more active members of society and the next stage is to roll out Vitality Homes, entering neighbouring cities throughout the North West and continuing our work to support those in recovery.”
Vitality Homes’ Head Of Service, Jacquie Johnston Lynch, added:
“This place is just an absolute hive of activity, there is always a new creative idea being hatched. The lads are amazing as to what they are now willing to say YES to. We are always stunned at how much the local community and/or Twitter followers support us. MP’s Paula Barker and Dan Carden are both visiting next week as they have heard how much support is offered here and how the project is a best practice model of a good recovery HMO.
“We’ve been here two years today so we’ll be celebrating tonight and it seems very fitting that it’s also the celebration of one of our residents moving on. Ben has been here for four months and is now leaving having secured a place at Birbeck Uni to study a Bsc in Psychology.”
Ben, 33, added:
“Happy 2nd birthday! I was in rehab first and learned a lot there but I have learned and integrated so much more from living at DJK House. I’ve never experienced anything like the service we get here, where the staff go the extra mile to support us on so many levels. I will miss everyone but this is the next step in my recovery.”