Elim’s Direct Access Community (DAC) is a innovative project forged out of a partnership between Mendip District Council, Addicott Partners (Manor Farm) and Elim Connect Centre which launched in 2015.
The only Direct Access Accommodation based in Mendip for Rough Sleepers, DAC provides up to two short-term assessment beds and four pre-move-on beds to help Mendip citizens on their journey to sustainable accommodation.
DAC is not a typical Direct Access Hostel! The accommodation is located in an idyllic cottage at the heart of working farm near Stratton-on-the-Fosse. The rural location provides up to of 1000 acres of explorable farmland, woodland, orchards and gardens. The majority of people sleeping rough in Mendip are self-isolating, living outside of the built up areas – DAC offers a softer transition from this lifestyle.
In addition to the services you would expect from a Direct Access service in terms of pro-actively working through a support plan, DAC operates as a community house. This has been spearheaded by Suzanne Addicott who worked in a pioneering community house project in Hong Kong with St Stephens Society, started by Jackie Pullenger.
The residents cook and eat together, and engage in a number of structured activities including art, pottery, animal care and hedge-laying. This approach is focussed on a wholistic preparation for the next steps after leaving the farm.
DAC has a ‘virtual’ front door which is Elim Connect Centre’s services throughout Mendip. Residents are fully integrated with other activities and services provided by Elim and partner agencies – providing the opportunity to leave the farm on a daily basis.
To find out more, please contact us.