The Burnt Ash Hill Hostel was founded in 1974 to provide accommodation for homeless young black men. The Lewisham Council for Community Relations leased the building from Lewisham Council, with money from the Urban Aid programme. Within six months, the hostel already had 14 residents, and by its second year it was operating at full capacity. By 1979, it had housed 78 men. The hostel remained open until 1992.