Since creating a therapeutic community at Kingsley Hall in 1965, the Philadelphia Association has run more than twenty community houses which have offered asylum and hospitality to people in distress. This work continues at two houses in North London.
The experience of fifty years has shown that personal crises and seemingly inescapable unhappiness may for many people be transformed in households like these. They are places where people can come together to address their difficulties in a situation of shared everyday living.
THE TWO HOUSES
The house in Freegrove Road, Islington, is a large terraced property with a garden and conservatory.
It opened in 1996 and can accommodate seven people.
The Grove is situated in Haringey, close to Finsbury Park. It has been open since 1973 and has space for seven people.
It costs around £20,000 a year to run each house. Administrative costs are kept to a minimum and all our therapists work part-time. In order to ensure the long-term future of the houses, donations are urgently needed. Please call 0207 794 2652, email to discuss making a donation.
The structure of the house is not so much imposed as shaped or opened according to the abiding concerns which its members have. Like an individual, a household evolves a way, a style.
Despite the longevity and the radically different nature of the project, surprisingly little has been written about the work.
this book is an attempt to correct that.
It is in part a history of the houses as well as an account on how the houses work today and an exploration of their underpinning ethos.
From An Uneasy Dwelling: The Story of the Philadelphia Association Community Houses
by Paul Gordon
(PCCS Books, 2010)