MOTHER and son Val and Chris Farhall run neighbouring Bed and Breakfast facilities in Newquay.
The thirteen rooms that they manage between them are unique in that the guests that they host are all people who are in recovery from homelessness and who often have complex needs and unsettled lifestyles.
Val and Chris work closely with ourselves and the council to provide accommodation for the most vulnerable in society.
At present Chris is hosting seven individuals through the council’s Short Term Accommodation and Resettlement (STAR) scheme for which we are providing the support element.
This scheme is a part of the Reducing Rough Sleeping Initiative and is a key element of the government’s plan to end rough sleeping by 2027.
The last annual rough sleeper count for Cornwall revealed that 53 people were living on our streets, an improvement from previous years but still an uncomfortably high figure.
Public Health England found that those with an experience of rough sleeping had a life expectancy of almost half that of the general population.
STAR focuses on encouraging entrenched rough sleepers to maintain a tenancy through an intensive support programme that helps them to overcome the initial barriers to housing.
Since February this year Chris has hosted 18 people in his property who had experienced rough sleeping, with several already moved on into private rented accommodation.
One of the individuals who has moved on since staying with Chris said: “I could not have got to where I am now without all the support.”
There is always a struggle to house people who are not suited to traditional supported accommodation facilities, particularly those who have their own complex needs including mental health issues and enhanced vulnerability.
Chris said: “We always give someone a chance, even if they’ve messed up in the past.
“It’s common sense, people are people and everyone makes mistakes.
“It’s just understanding that people are completely different, and adapting things for their needs.”
Val, who provides emergency and temporary accommodation through the prevention and engagement team at Cornwall Housing says that she sees all of her guests like one big family.
She said: “You have to have a sense of humour, I love it.”
People almost always show a marked improvement in health, wellbeing and engagement once they move off the streets, but it is rare to find people who will give them that chance.
Kate Ashby-Smith is one of our tenancy sustainment officers at and provides outreach support to those staying with Chris.
She said: “Chris and Val are nothing short of incredible human beings.
“They treat residents with consistent respect and compassion and provide a safe and secure environment inclusive to all.
“Everybody deserves a warm and safe environment they can call their own but the Farhall residences provide more than that, they provide individuals with a home filled with hope.
“I feel inspired and honoured to be working alongside them to provide an opportunity for individuals who have experienced homelessness to resettle in the community.”