Supported Accommodation Thorntree Street

Home, for life

supported accommodation thorntree street


Rowan Alba accepts every individual’s right to choose.  Most residents have a long-term history of problematic alcohol use.  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? The time may come when one of our residents is ready and motivated to explore change – or it may not.


We provide access to individual homes in a communal living environment, for older people (50+) in partnership with Bield Housing Association. Residents are men who have had a history of rough sleeping, living in insecure accommodation or homeless hostels. We support residents to maintain and thrive in their own Scottish Secured tenancies with 24-hour staffing on site, working with them to manage finances, eating well and keeping on top of daily domestic tasks in their flats.


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. 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 wehave learned from, and 12 years on we’re still listening and learning.


  • Accepting, and managing, alcohol use
  • Permanent accommodation
  • Support with physical and emotional health

Meet the team

I started working in the homeless sector at the outset of the Rough Sleepers Initiative Cold Weather Shelters in London in 1991. I moved to Edinburgh in ’98 where I’ve worked chiefly with the Old Town Housing Association and the Homeless Outreach Project in Street Outreach, Addictions and Intensive Support.

Declan McKiernan

Senior Support Worker, Rowan Alba