Opened in September 2017, Tabor House is Birmingham’s only permanent night shelter, offering shelter and support to people experiencing homelessness.
Tabor House operates year-round, providing safety, support, warmth and encouragement to people without the very basics and necessities of life. It provides a bed for the night, a shower, food and warm clothes. As well as practical support, it offers dignity, respect, friendship and support to move into more permanent accommodation.
Mentors are assigned to guests to provide information and advice tailored to each person’s needs and strengths. It can include help with reading and writing skills, health checks, support to overcome addiction, employability training and much more. Having this support means guests are more likely to engage with services leading to rehabilitation, more permanent accommodation and, eventually, independent living.
Tabor House is managed by two part-time Project Co-ordinators and a part-time Volunteer Co-ordinator, supported by a large team of volunteers. Some volunteers provide hospitality and welcome, meeting guests’ practical needs. Others volunteer as mentors, giving the one-to-one support that is a key part of Tabor House. There is an ongoing need for volunteers – if you can help as a Hospitality Volunteer (shift based), a Shift Leader or a Volunteer Mentor, contact Mairead Shaw on 07387 418318 or Laura Jovicich on 07387 418319.
Accessing support from Tabor House
Guests are referred to Tabor House by two key partner organisations, SIFA Fireside and Midland Heart. Tabor House is unable to admit people who walk in off the street.
To access support from Tabor House, contact:
Do you have concerns about a rough sleeper?
- If they are ill or in danger, call 999.
- In Birmingham, call the Birmingham Outreach Team (run by Midland Heart) on 0345 602 0533 (during office hours) or 0121 303 2296 out of hours.
- If you are outside of Birmingham, call StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or make a referral on the StreetLink website streetlink.org.uk.
Background to Tabor House
Birmingham has seen an 80% increase in the number of people sleeping rough. Estimates suggest there could be up to 200 people sleeping rough in Birmingham, possibly more. Until Tabor House opened there was no permanent night shelter. Emergency provision was only available for three months a year through the Churches’ Winter Night Shelter. Over the last two years, a working group carried out research and consultation to plan for the set-up of a night shelter in the city.
Tabor House initially opened with six beds for a six-month pilot, before expanding to nine beds in 2018. It aims to eventually increase to 15 beds. These numbers were chosen through research and liaison with other night shelters nationally and the Churches’ Winter Night Shelter co-ordinated by Thrive Together. During the first year, the Management Committee is concentrating on ensuring Tabor House delivers and works well.
Tabor House is a collaborative project between the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, Father Hudson’s Care, Housing Justice, Irish in Birmingham, local philanthropists and business people, the Birmingham Rough Sleepers Team (Midland Heart) and local homelessness specialists. Made up of representatives from the partner organisations, the iShelter Management Committee operates Tabor House.