A recent report on HM Prison Peterborough found that a third of those released became immediately homeless. The BBC reported on the story here: Third of Peterborough inmates released became homeless - report - BBC News 

This tragic statistic represents the lives of real people. Last year, 333 men left Peterborough prison and found themselves homeless. It’s a familiar story to us at Hope into Action.  

Fourteen years ago, our founder, Ed, met someone on a park bench in Peterborough, who’d just been released from prison. He had nowhere to go, and just as importantly, no one to turn to. 

Ed couldn’t find a bed for him that night in any local hostels, and this began a journey to starting Hope into Action. Since then, we’ve helped many men and women find a home after leaving prison. In the next few days, a new tenant will move into one of our houses in Peterborough having recently served time in prison. You can read more of Ed's story in his book, A House Built on Love.

Rebekah Bennett, Peterborough Team Lead, said The reality for many of these tenants is that they’ve grown up in a world exposed to crime and drugs; they become caught in a cycle throughout their life. This has a devastating impact on their identity and often tenants come to us not knowing their self-worth. 'We recognise that as well as a house, people need good relationships and stability. This is why we partner with local churches who provide friendship and support teams to become a community for our tenants." 

Over the last few months, several tenants who have moved into our properties have previously served time in prison. As a team we believe that we are helping to address the gap of housing for those being released from prison in Peterborough and this is leading to lives being transformed. 

We currently have 19 homes in Peterborough, providing accommodation for up to 50 tenants, some of whom are ex-offenders. And importantly, thanks to the holistic support provided by our network of amazing, local volunteers and church partners, 92% of our tenants who have previously been to prison have not reoffended. This is in stark contrast to a national rate of 66.8% nationwide. 

Jon Kuhrt, our CEO, said: We’re devastated to see that so many people leaving prison are still finding themselves with nowhere to go on release. The issue here isn’t just about having a place to go, but knowing who to reach out to, having safe, secure relationships with people who can be relied on to help. 

We’ll continue to build and expand on Ed’s vision to provide a home for more people who have experienced homelessness, as its clear there is still much for us to do in Peterborough and beyond. 

If you want to find out more about our work in Peterborough contact Rebekah Bennett ([email protected])