THE diocese of Gloucester is to provide a three-bedroom house for disadvantaged women in Gloucestershire, in partnership with the Nelson Trust. The charity supports victims of violent crime, domestic abuse, and substance misuse, as well as ex-offenders and those suffering from mental illness.
The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, said on Tuesday: “This house is one small example of engaging with people’s lives, often in places of deep brokenness. . . It is my hope that this house will enable women and children to discover new possibilities, and become the people they have been created to be.”
The accommodation is to be used as part of the Nelson Trust Re-unite project, through which mothers who have served a prison sentence are reunited with their children. The trust, which supports about 500 women a year, estimates that up to 12 women will benefit from the home over the next 12 months.
“Accommodation is fundamental to achieving a reduction in reoffending,” a statement said. “Failure to provide suitable housing to women released from prison leads to more crime, more victims, and more unnecessary and costly imprisonment.”
The Trust is also to receive donations from churches across the diocese. Its head of women’s community services, Niki Gould, said: “Because of a lack of suitable housing, our women experience terrible Catch-22 situations when trying to be reunited with their children. As a result of this intensive support, some of the most vulnerable women in Gloucestershire will build a more stable life for themselves and their children.”