Shelter Housing Aid and Research Project
How We Began
The Shelter Housing Aid and Research Project (SHARP) was established in the early 1970s by a group of volunteers in Leicester who were deeply concerned about poor housing and homelessness and wanted to do something for local people who were suffering bad housing conditions. The aim of the new project was and still is: “to secure a decent home for every household at a price they can afford”. We believe that it is a basic human right for everyone to have a warm, safe, secure and affordable home.
SHARP’s volunteers began by offering free, confidential and independent advice and assistance to people in housing need. This is still at the heart of our work. We have been able to develop a wide range of additional services for people in housing need who live in Leicestershire, Rutland and Leicester City.
Our Services Today
Ø specialist housing advice and advocacy on housing rights and options
Over the year 2011-12 SHARP advised over 538 households comprising more
than 1000 people. They had a range of serious housing problems, including homelessness, eviction, housing benefit, relationship breakdown, domestic
violence, harassment, disrepair and unsuitable housing.
Ø a housing support service
this provides practical help and regular home visits to over 400 vulnerable people each year referred by Social Service departments, the Probation Service and other agencies; the scheme helps people set up home (providing furniture where required) and supports them in learning to live independently.
Ø the STRIDE (SHARP Training, Recycling and Income Development Enterprise) furniture store partnership
this social enterprise provides work experience placements and accredited training opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds including the long-term unemployed and other vulnerable groups; it also makes and sells cut-price new and second-hand furniture, and thus generates surpluses to fund our other services
Ø For housing advice: drop-in at 13 Welford Road on Mondays to Thursdays between 10 am and 4 pm or on Fridays 10 am to 3.30 pm;
for an appointment telephone 0116-254-6064 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ø Out of hours emergency: Telephone Shelterline on 0808 800 4444 (free)
SHARP, The Independent Housing Advice Centre,
13 Welford Road, Leicester, LE2 7AD. Telephone: 0116-254-6064