"For as long as it takes...."
In 1972 Les Milner founded 'The Boot' nightshelter, opening up the church hall area behind St Basils Church as basic shelter.
The area could sleep 18 young men in dormitory style beds. Recognising that appropriate provision was also needed to help young women, St Basils set up Yardley House in 1975 to provide emergency supportive accommodation to homeless young women. From this grew the recognition that homeless young mothers also needed their own accommodation in order to provide the most appropriate support for them and in 1979 Trentham House in Acocks Green was opened as a registered nursing home for homeless young mothers and their babies.
In 1975 the St Basils 'detached' Youth Workers founded an advice centre based in the Bull Ring markets called 'The Kiosk', an information point for young people in need of advice, some of whom were homeless or at risk of homelessness.
In 1978, as an extension to 'the Kiosk', The St Basils Link was opened at new premises in Birmingham city centre on Newton Street adjacent to Corporation Street to provide greater access and advice to any young person at risk of homelessness as well as personal counselling services and hot drinks.
Having become apparent to Les Milner that there was, something of a link between, unemployment, a lack of skills and youth homelessness, St Basils set up a 'Work' project to provide experience to a core group of young people and to teach them skilled trades.
Yardley House and mother and baby unit Trentham House (although in a different building) are still a part of St Basils services today. Yardley House is now a mixed accommodation scheme helping single young men and women with emergency accommodation for up to 3 months whilst their situation and needs are assessed and more appropriate long term accommodation is found for them.
Although we no longer teach young people skills trades ourselves we do have extensive Learning, Skills and Work programmes, working with them in-house to build up their skills, self-esteem and knowledge so that they have the confidence to access external education, work, and training opportunities including our Live & Work scheme in Sandwell providing accommodation and NHS apprenticeships in partnership with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.