Run by Living Rivers Church, The Lighthouse Hostel in Ballymena was founded in 2002 to provide a safe place for homeless men. The vision is “to bridge the gap from homelessness to independent living”. The Lighthouse Hostel at 8 Linenhall St. provides temporary supported accomodation for up to 20 men in Ballymena and is looked after by 16 full time staff and volunteers. It is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as clients are deemed as medium to high risk, many clients not only have addiction and mental health issues but some also suffer from the dual prognosis of having both mental health issues and addictions. The mission statement is ‘to empower men to grow in confidence and ability by supporting them in their personal development towards independence and enable them to enjoy life and become a positive contributor to society, and aid them to reach the full potential God has planned for them.’ So The Lighthouse Hostel becomes the stepping stone to give homeless men another chance to live life to the full.
This much needed facility accepts homeless men aged between 18 and 65 years old from all over Northern Ireland. Potential clients must first be referred by the NI Housing Executive. The Lighthouse then carry out both a Risk & Needs Assessment before offering clients their service. Clients who have successfully completed the referral process are provided with Key Workers who will aid them in their person centred support plans for growth and development. Key workers encourage and support clients as they move on to a place where they can live independently again. If needed, the staff at the Hostel will ensure the client receives the help of professional local services or any other advice they may require or deserve. The Lighthouse uses a client lead support process which helps the clients set goals in different areas of their life. These include ‘Being Healthy’, ‘Staying Safe’, ‘Making a Positive Contribution’ and ‘Economic Wellbeing’. As clients see targets being reached in their support plans it gives them the confidence to move forward and start making positive decisions. They are also encouraged to learn new skills and express themselves through art, computers and other educational courses, team building exercises, sporting activities and more. The aim for each of the clients is to get to a place where they can live independently, enjoy life and reach the potential God has in store for them. The Living Rivers Trust would like to thank Supporting People and the CSR partners for the Lighthouse Hostel, to Chain Reaction Cycles, BMW Country Garage, Emotive Technology & Lanyon Properties for their continued support
We would encourage you to pray for the clients and staff at the Lighthouse Hostel Ballymena that God would continue to bless this facility and all who live and work there. As homeless men are given a chance to improve their physical situation they will also see the transformation in their lives which God can bring, and so move on not only physically but also spiritually.