The need for a drop-in centre for single homeless adults was identified at a multi-agency workshop organised by North Wiltshire District Council in January 2003 as part of its Homelessness strategic planning process. North Wiltshire was the only district council area in Wiltshire which had no dedicated service for this client group at that time.
“Homeless? There aren’t any in Chippenham!”
In 2003, a common response from local people was that there was no evidence of homelessness in this area and therefore no need for a dedicated service. However, local professionals in all sectors – statutory, voluntary and church – reported that they regularly saw homeless single people but that no one agency was responsible for monitoring either the nature or levels of single homelessness in North Wiltshire.
“Through the effort and skill of a small group of dedicated volunteers, this project has become independent, and a charity in its own right. Everyone has been, and still is, on a huge learning curve, but the passion felt by each one will see Doorway through! Each and every guest is important and makes us feel the commitment we make is worthwhile and valuable.” Doorway volunteer
The Project was a successful partnership between CVS North Wiltshire and The Salvation Army, Chippenham Corps and was supported by an Advisory Group including representatives from CVS, The Salvation Army, North Wiltshire District Council, the Mental Health Care Trust, North Wiltshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau, the Probation Service and Community First. A much wider group of interested Church, voluntary and statutory agencies and individuals offered advice and support as needed and received regular reports.
The Board of Doorway Wiltshire took formal control of the work of Doorway from the DEVELOP (previously CVSNW) and Salvation Army partnership on 1 December 2010, when the assets of and responsibility for the work of the Project were formally transferred.