Olallo House

The great work we do!

Olallo House is a unique SJOG service that aims to continue the missions of the Hospitaller Order Saint John of God and the Poor Servants of the Mother of God Congregation.

Written by: Jack Weeks, Deputy Service Manager, Olallo House

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The service was opened in 2008 and named after Blessed Jose Olallo Valdes, who joined the aforementioned Order in 1835 in Puerto Principe (modern-day Camagüey). Olallo dedicated his life to creating a compassionate and caring environment for the poorest and most marginalised on both sides of Cuba’s Ten Years’ War, first as senior nurse and then as community superior.

Fast-forward to 2023, and in central London we provide accommodation and support to destitute migrants, victims of modern-day slavery/trafficking, TB patients and homeless people on discharge from hospital – non-UK and UK nationals, all deemed vulnerable due to a range of underlying physical and/or mental health needs. We like to think that we’re following in the footsteps of our forbearer in focussing our attention on the most underserved members of our society.

Even though our guests are in need of material support, we recognise that true poverty often lies in abuse and rejection, a feeling of being unloved and ignored. Indeed, for many of our residents, the current system seems deliberately set against them. At Olallo, we try to create an environment that stands in contrast to this sense of hopelessness by giving residents a secure space and the tools to pursue fruitful, self-determining action.

Olallo House has been recognised as an exemplar of good practice by UKHSA [UK Health Security Agency] for its work supporting TB patients across London. Additionally, a study was undertaken by UCL [University College London] that found that patients who stayed at Olallo during their treatment (2010-2019) were three times more likely to complete their treatment than if they were to stay anywhere else. Additionally, Olallo House was highly commended in the London Homelessness Awards 2021, as well as commended in the Excellence Awards 2021 in People First Category by Homeless Link.

For more information about our work at Olallo House click here: https://sjog-olallo.uk/

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