Properties for homeless given upmarket transformation

LIFE for more than 20 ­people has been ­transformed after their new homes were given a makeover, thanks to upmarket housebuilder Cala Homes.

Cala Homes is donating its showhome furniture to the Fresh Start homeless charity, and Clare McLoughlin of the housing group met with Keith Robertson and Stewart Ferguson of Fresh Start when they arrived to select items.
Cala Homes is donating its showhome furniture to the Fresh Start homeless charity, and Clare McLoughlin of the housing group met with Keith Robertson and Stewart Ferguson of Fresh Start when they arrived to select items.

Edinburgh charity Fresh Start said a total of 24 properties for recently homeless people have been kitted out with beds, sofas and other essentials which previously graced high-end show homes. The donation from Cala, they say, will help get people back on their feet, ensuring those who otherwise have nothing can enjoy the best possible start in their new properties.

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Jen McQuistan, of Fresh Start, said: “Cala was absolutely delighted when we let them know that the donation has allowed us to furnish 24 ­separate properties. I don’t think they’d realised we’d be able to do so much with it.

“This is so important, because many people we work with have absolutely nothing when they first receive their keys.

“Often they don’t have the social or financial support to buy the bare necessities – so having their new home furnished takes a great worry off their minds.

“Moving house can be stressful enough, but for the formerly homeless it can be an especially daunting task. The donation from CALA Homes has played a huge part in making people feel settled and secure in their new homes.”

The developer made a range of furnishings from their show homes available to the team at Fresh Start.

Philip Hogg, sales and marketing director at Cala Homes (East), said: “To learn that the furniture we donated has made such a positive impact to the lives of at least 24 ­people is hugely gratifying. Fresh Start really provides a vital service to the city of Edinburgh and working in partnership with the charity has been hugely rewarding for our team. We really are thrilled to hear this has made a real, positive ­difference.”

Fresh Start has helped thousands of homeless people – from those sleeping on a friend’s sofa or living in a hostel, to those forced onto the streets.

However, the glimmer of hope offered by a tenancy, can too ­easily be snuffed out and see struggling individuals overwhelmed with hopelessness again because they have nothing.