From Wightpedia

Almshouses were often built in the Isle of Wight for the housing of the poor, or retired employees of large houses. The almshouses tend to date from a time when there was little financial help for the poor other than having to go into the Workhouse when they became too old to work.

Often those who set up almshouses would laydown conditions on who could be housed in them; those living in a particular parish, of a particular religious faith, and/or spinsters or widows etc. etc.

Some almshouses were well funded, often with a Charity set up to ensure they would continue in perpetuity; others were less well funded/organised or their purpose no longer applies and have ceased to exist.