At Thorntree St. we provide individual homes in a communal living environment, for older people (50+) in partnership with Bield Housing Association. Our community-members are men who have had a history of rough sleeping, living in insecure accommodation or homeless hostels.
How does Thorntree St. work?
Rowan Alba support isn’t about forcing residents into ‘conditions of stay’ such as engaging services they don’t want to use, or having to address dependency issues through therapy. It is THEIR home. Does your home come with those kind of personal conditions attached?
No one at Thorntree Street can be ‘thrown out’, or designated ‘unsuitable’ or too challenging. Many of the men who live in Thorntree Street have come from services where they had been described as having ‘behaviours unsuitable for the service’. We believe that this suggests that it was the other way around. ‘Services’ were unsuitable for them.
Key facts about the service
- Located in central Edinburgh
- Scottish-assured tenancies
- 24hr supported accommodation
- 50+ men with experience of homelessness
Gallery of life at Thorntree
The Thorntree model
Rowan Alba’s centre at Thorntree St. in Leith operates a unique model for living that supports former street homeless people in a sustainable way of life.
Independent individuals by nature, Thorntree tenants contribute to the management and organisation. The atmosphere is far from the top-down regimes which have characterised ‘homeless shelters’ in the past.
Based on the 15 year development of Thorntree St, we have created the Thorntree Model. This blend of inclusivity, pragmatism and knowledge can be applied in other locations to help people who are often stigmatised as a thorn in the side of society.
How we apply our 3 principles to Thorntree
Rowan Alba accepts every individual’s right to choose. Our support isn’t about forcing residents into ‘conditions of stay’ such as engaging services they don’t want to use, or having to address dependency issues through therapy.
We support residents to maintain and thrive in their own Scottish Secured tenancies with 24-hour staffing on site. Our specialist support includes working with them to manage finances, eating well and keeping on top of daily domestic tasks in their flats.
Homes that provide Safety and Security make a difference that would be difficult for any ‘Service’ to quantify. We’ve had over 60 residents voices we have learned from, and 12 years on we’re still listening and learning to include them at every moment.
Meet our team
Our team at Thorntree have a wide range of skills and knowledge that support our tenants at all levels.