Arc began as Taunton Association for the Homeless in the early 1970s when Taunton witnessed an increase in the number of people squatting and sleeping rough.
A concerned group in the local community agreed on the urgent need for accommodation and support for some of the most marginalised in society. Taunton Association for the Homeless (TAH) was formed and we opened our first residence with help from Somerset County Council. At that time the residents were mostly middle-aged men who had been sleeping rough or who travelled from town to town seeking shelter. Demand continued to grow and in 1980 we opened a 12-bed night shelter.
As the problem grew in the area more properties were purchased and our services expanded. From very small beginnings we have become one of the largest providers of specialist housing for single homeless people in the south west of England.
In 2016, we lost a significant amount of funding from the government, leading us to restructure our organisation, sadly having to make cuts in services and staff.
However, we were adamant to continue the support we were providing and have since grown from strength to strength. At this point the organisation expanded its property portfolio significantly and established a new business model based on revenue income from rent derived from these properties.
Following the changes made, growth of services and such a long period of existence as Taunton Association for the Homeless it was decided that a fresh start was needed which would include a rebrand and change to name in order to represent the charity that we have now become.
It was here that the new name ‘Arc’ was introduced, representing a continuous path and progression for our clients, inspiring their lives and helping them to take positive journeys forward.
As Arc, we hope to continue growing and offering more services to help the homeless.