One Small Thing (OST), a charity dedicated to transforming the criminal justice system for women and their children, has received a second social investment loan of £3.3m from Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC).
The loan, from SASC’s Social and Sustainable Housing fund (SASH), will enable the charity to purchase and refurbish six properties in Southampton and Portsmouth, providing supported accommodation for up to 40 women involved in the criminal justice system in Hampshire, as part of its Hope Street project.
Hope Street is a pioneering residential community in Southampton, which will house up to 124 women and their children from spring 2023. This will prevent women receiving custodial sentences just because this is the only option available.
At Hope Street, women can meet the requirements of a community sentence in a safe, calm, and nurturing environment, where their children can live with them and they can access therapy, treatment and support. It will also help them access training and employment and make new links into the local community.
SASC’s first investment in OST was a £380k loan from its Community and Investment Fund, which funded five self-contained flats at Hope Street, as well as a large restorative outdoor space.
This latest investment will add further move on accommodation and marks the next phase of the charity’s vision for redesigning the justice system for women and their children in a way that can be replicated and scaled across the UK.
OST was founded in 2018 and is led by an inspirational philanthropist and tireless prison reformer Lady Edwina Grosvenor . With a degree in criminology, Lady Edwina has devoted her 23-year career to prison reform. Hope Street aligns with the thinking behind the 2018 Female Offender Strategy , which has a strong focus on community-based solutions.
Southampton was carefully selected as there are no prisons for women in Hampshire and Southampton is where a third of offences in Hampshire occur. Of the 877 women arrested in Hampshire between 1st November 2018 and 31st October 2019, 33% were from Southampton.
Women from Southampton who receive a custodial sentence are sent out of area, often more than 60 miles away from their home, making it very difficult for families to visit.
Claire Hubbertsey, Chief Executive of One Small Thing said, “Hope Street will be a restorative environment where women can thrive and access vital services, without the added trauma of being separated from their children. It is designed to become a centre of excellence that can be replicated across the UK. We’re grateful that SASC shares our vison and is committed to helping us achieve our goals.”
Ben Rick, Co-Founder and CEO of SASC said, “Since our first loan to One Small Thing we have been impressed with how this project has developed and wanted to extend our support so they can add further supported accommodation. The programme will positively impact the life outcomes for many women and their children and enable them to break out of the cycle of crime and deprivation, and transition to independent housing.”
As of September 2022, SASH was fully committed, having allocated £64.5m of invested capital to charities across the UK. The successor fund, SASH II was launched last autumn, to provide a continuity of funding to frontline providers.
The fund will support charitable organisations that deliver a combination of support and housing to move from renting existing housing stock to owning it. SASH II is open for fundraising and targeting £125m.[i] View link
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