One on one support to be offered to the county’s homeless
The Forest of Dean District Council has joined with partners to secure £990k of government Social Impact Bond funding to provide extra support for long-term homeless people in Gloucestershire for whom homelessness has become a way of life.
Gloucester City Council led on the bid in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group and the other district councils in the county.
Although incidences of rough sleeping are uncommon in the Forest of Dean district, homeless individuals may resort to sleeping rough and some may migrate to the urban areas of the county.
The funding for this four year project will be dedicated to delivering a new service to help long-term and repeat homeless people. Many of these people have extreme and complex needs and need tailored one on one support to get them off the streets and into accommodation. The commissioning of an organisation to deliver the new service will start in October this year.
The new service will be extremely targeted, working with 110 people across the county who have a long term history of rough sleeping or have spent many years interacting with homeless services.
Professionally trained members of staff called ‘navigators’ will work with small caseloads, building a genuine rapport and level of trust with each individual person.
The navigators will maintain continuous support and engagement with the people they’re working with – regardless of any setbacks that might occur. This level of support will continue through every step of their journey, even when the individual is successfully housed.
This innovative support will help those who have not responded to previous and traditional services. Its purpose is to help each individual get the support they need from both mental and physical healthcare, drug and alcohol services, education, training opportunities and housing.
Cllr Carole Allaway-Martin, Forest of Dean District Council cabinet member for housing and well-being said: “We are pleased to be a partner in this important project, which will provide one on one help for people who find themselves in a homeless situation. The whole community will benefit from this project.”
Cllr Kathy Williams, cabinet member for long term care at Gloucestershire County Council, added: “We’re aware that the current services aren’t reaching everyone. This new personalised approach will help us specifically support people who need it the most whilst also focusing on breaking the cycle of repeat homelessness.”
The new project will be in addition to existing services. This includes the Forest of Dean District Council’s Housing Options team and supported accommodation and community-based support services funded by Gloucestershire County Council.
Additionally, the existing countywide homeless outreach team will be able to focus much more heavily on ‘no second night out’ rapid response with new rough sleepers.
Members of the public are encouraged to refer people they believe to be street homeless to the P3 Outreach team, via www.streetlink.org.uk or the Streetlink phone app, or 0300 500 0914.