In the days before John Holmstrom WCHP had a different direction. Their focus was on helping the homeless of Worthing. This included working with the clients to help them reintegrate into society. Rehabilitation was a major purpose of the charity.
Since Mr Holmstrom’s arrival, things have been very different. He is focused on building an empire for his own gratification. I wish his former employers would come forward and be honest about why he no longer works there. I know from senior members of Brighton Housing Trust that he “jumped before he was pushed”. Although these people, who also claim to be “working in the best interests of the clients” would rather keep quiet and not rock the boat.
My concern has been on the impact on the homeless community of Worthing, as should be Mr Holmstrom’s. However, to him they are a commodity.
I heard an update recently on a WCHP client that I knew very well.
This client had a history of alcohol misuse that had seriously affected his life. When WCHP started the bike project at their Durrington shop he was heavily involved. He worked at least 5 days a week, for no money, servicing and repairing bikes for WCHP. He was given the responsibility for ordering bike parts and managing the servicing, this had a massive impact on his life. He had a real sense of purpose, he felt that he could hold his head up, give something back, and deserve some respect. He was planning long term to start his own bicycle repair business.
For some reason, it was decided by the senior management team that this was no longer appropriate. This client was told that WCHP would stop servicing bikes and that he could only work one day a week. This had a devastating impact on him. Not only had his daily purpose been removed, but he felt that all the work he had put in was being discarded, and again enforcing his lack of worth. I remember him saying that he didn’t know how he would cope with this removed from him.
Shortly after Mr Holmstrom chose to close the bike project, as it didn’t fit into his housing empire, and ultimately the Durrington shop.
The news I received regarding this client is that he is now deceased. He deteriorated, and went back to his previous behaviours. Personally, I put this entirely at the feet of Mr Holmstrom. WCHP supported, helped, and gave this client a reason to live, a hope for the future. Then they stole it away, effectively destroying his life.
I can’t name him, but I feel physically sick that an organisation that pretends to help people can abandon people to their death