St Martins Housing Trust

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Charity details

Registered address
35 Bishopgate,

01603 667706

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Addressing the needs of the homeless in Norwich and Norfolk

St Martins Housing Trust is a registered charity. Our objects are to "provide food shelter and accommodation in the county of Norfolk for poor people having no other residence or the place to sleep" 

Our Mission

St Martins Housing Trust strives to address the needs of homeless people in Norwich.  We offer emergency direct access accommodation, residential care, support and development to enable everyone to achieve their full potential and a greater level of independence.

How it all began….

St Martins Housing Trust started life as the Norwich Night Shelter Project.  The original Night Shelter at St James Church on Barrack Street opened in 1972 in response to the growing problem of homelessness in Norwich.  In spite of the very basic amenities, the Night Shelter was in ever increasing demand, and within a few years new premises were needed to cope with the swelling number of Night Shelter users.  In 1976, the Shelter relocated to St Martin at Oak, a redundant church on Oak Street.  From this point on the Trust developed a wide range of complementary services that responded to the needs and expectations of homeless people.  In April 2002 the Night Shelter was replaced by a new, purpose-built Direct Access and Resettlement Hostel (Bishopbridge House) at Gas Hill, off Riverside Road, Norwich.


Bishopbridge House  - A 30 bed Direct Access and Resettlement Hostel.  10 rooms provide direct access accommodation from the street.  20 rooms are used for move-on and resettlement.  The aim is to provide routes out of homelessness.

Highwater House  - A 22 bed registered care home for people with mental health problems and with drug/or alcohol dependency (dual diagnosis).

Webster Court  - Sheltered housing for 33 single older people (including 8 apartments desigined to wheelchair access standards).

Group homes  - A number of shared houses, which act as a stepping-stone towards independent accommodation.

Contact, Assessment & Prevention Service  (CAPS) - provides ongoing support and assistance to address the difficulties faced by people who are either sleeping rough or in insecure accommodation and at risk of becoming homeless. This work includes a one night a week street-based shift that makes direct contact with rough sleepers in the city.

Temporary Accommodation Project (TAP)  - started as a pilot project in 2001, and now manages temporary accommodation on behalf of Norwich City Council for single homeless people whose homelessness applications are being investigated.  The accommodation is in shared houses and is a more homely alternative to bed and breakfast.  It also gives the Trust the opportunity to work with the individual on an appropriate support package for both the immediate and longer term.

Under-1-Roof - The Trust’s training, education and employment preparation centre opened in February 2010, providing a welcoming environment for our service users where they can take part in training tailored to their specific needs by established local training providers.

Facilities  - in-house catering, domestic and maintenance services.

Administrative Support  - financial and administrative functions at the Trusts Head Office.



The Trust works as a part of the broader movement in Norwich and the surrounding area.  We work with other voluntary organisations, housing associations, community and church groups to raise awareness of homelessness as one of the principle contributors to social exclusion.

The Trust aims to be a progressive and developing charity, adjusting to the needs of homeless people that are often very complex.  Over the last few years, for example, the characteristics of homeless people have changed dramatically.  We are now seeing a growing number of young people, women and people with mental health and substance misuse problems presenting at Bishopbridge House.

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