Homeless hubs to be up and running before the winter’s out
Following a successful bid for central government funding, two hubs will be opening their doors from March to help people sleeping rough move away from a life on the streets for good.
In December 2018, Gloucestershire County Council secured over £950k funding for the next 14 months as part of the government’s £100m Rough Sleeping Strategy. Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP announced Gloucestershire as one of 11 Somewhere Safe to Stay centres across the country. The money will also fund a navigator service to work with rough sleepers and alongside the hubs.
The county’s homeless hubs located in Central Gloucester and Central Cheltenham will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide a safe environment away from the street. On arrival to the hub, staff will provide a ‘sit up’ service to rapidly assess a person’s needs and design a personal housing plan to make sure that there is no reason for them to stay sleeping rough.
During their short visit, within 72 hours, they will be fully assessed including identifying specialist support for complex needs such as mental health problems and substance misuse, and have a personal housing plan to prevent them from rough sleeping. The multi-agency navigator service will bring together all the relevant partners so that whatever the solution is it can be designed based on an individual’s needs.
In addition, the hubs will be able to provide help to people who wouldn’t normally be eligible for government benefits so that they have the means to access employment and secure their own accommodation.
Cllr Roger Wilson, cabinet member for adult social care commissioning at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “No one should have to sleep on our county’s streets and we are committed to ending rough sleeping. I really welcome the extra support from government to put this facility in place to help provide people the specialist help they need to get back on track.
“If you spot someone sleeping rough I would encourage you to contact Streetlink online or by using the app. This will be sent immediately to the local street outreach team P3 who will try to find the person as quickly as possible and if necessary bring them into one of the Somewhere Safe to Stay Hubs.”
The new hubs will strengthen the existing support available all year round to help people who are sleeping rough including street homeless and other outreach teams; drop in centres, plus specialist substance misuse and mental health services.
Anyone who is concerned about someone who is street homeless can refer to the Street Homeless Outreach team which is delivered by P3 – via Streetlink (www.streetlink.org.uk / mobile app)