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by administrator @, Friday, March 12, 2010, 09:37

The Salvation Army is to rebrand its hostels for the homeless as "LifeHouses", the organisation has confirmed.

The charity, which performs social and charitable work, said the change would emphasise its homelessness services. Around 3,500 people stay at the organisation's 83 UK and Ireland centres each night.

Maff Potts, the Salvation Army's director of homelessness services, said: "This is not a pointless rebranding exercise but a defining moment for the Salvation Army. The word 'hostel' was linked with old-style warehousing of people and didn't convey that there's more to our support services than simply housing.

"LifeHouse clearly demonstrates that we are about providing purpose and relationships - two words which are at the heart of our delivery of support services. We believe that everyone is valuable and no-one should be stigmatised because of their past or where they live. The Salvation Army hopes that, as a culture, we will start viewing people who are 'homeless' as people who have a contribution to play in our society."

The charity will also expand activities run in the centres, and the training offered to improve the self-esteem, mental health and employment prospects of the people using the centres.

The charity said homeless people typically lack confidence. To tackle this, the organisation is creating 900 roles to be filled by the long-term unemployed whose job will be to set up fun activities and community projects.

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