Funding to continue support work for those who find themselves street homeless in Torbay has been secured for a further year.

We have been successful in securing funds that will pay for essential posts to continue working with rough sleepers, as well as supporting more people into private rented tenancies.

Over the past year a team of six workers have worked with 140 people and confirmation that this funding is continuing means they can continue to work with the 90 people who are on their active case load. The team will also be able to continue to support 23 people who are in stable accommodation in case they need any help in keeping their tenancy.

The funding, which will be available from April 2020, will continue to pay for workers in areas like resettlement, tenancy support, drug and alcohol, Landlord liaison and Prison support roles, as well as providing a guarantor scheme to help people who don’t have deposits or rent in advance. The funding will also support much needed mental health interventions.

Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said: “To know we have this funding for the next financial year will mean our work in supporting those who find themselves sleeping on the streets can continue. Over the past year, the team has worked hard and built relationships and provided support with people who needed to find and keep their accommodation.

“Hearing some of the stories from those they have helped is heart-warming. Seeing the impact and difference the team are making really shows how needed this valuable work is.”

John Hamblin, Chief Executive at Shekinah said: “We welcome the funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that has been awarded to Torbay Council. This will enable not only the continuation of street outreach work but more importantly, it also enables us to support people to secure and sustain their home. Having funding to offer ongoing tenancy support to people will be crucial if we are serious about ending the injustice of rough sleeping.”

Below are some of the case studies and feedback received from those the team have supported:

A Resettlement Worker supported a female who was street homeless as a result of fleeing an abusive relationship. She was found space in temporary accommodation and has now moved onto a women’s refuge.

The Resettlement team provided outreach for a street homeless elderly male with suspected dementia and unmet physical health needs. The team worked with PATH, Housing and Adult Social Care colleagues to ensure that he was provided with emergency accommodation. This accommodation has provided a safe and stable base for Adult Social Care to build a package of care and consider his long-term accommodation needs.

A client in his 50’s successfully moved into a private rental one bedroom flat following ongoing periods of rough sleeping. The client thanked the resettlement worker stating 'I have only ever had a bed in shared accommodation or a prison cell'. The team and Housing First look forward to working together with the client going forward to ensure tenancy sustainability.

A male in his mid-thirties had been rough sleeping for a number of months following a break down in his relationship. As a result of having a homeless status, he also lost his job and began to relapse into alcohol misuse. The Resettlement Team worked alongside PATH in providing practical and emotional support and secured accommodation in shared accommodation. As a result of having permanent accommodation he was able to soon commence employment and is again working full-time. He is also now attending a pre-rehab course and is focused on accessing community rehabilitation with the support of services and friends, and looking towards moving into his own flat.

'I just want to say a big thank you for all you have done for me. I don’t know what I would have done without you'. A Resettlement Worker received this from a client, a vulnerable young female in her 20’s who had experienced insecure accommodation from the age of 14. The Resettlement Worker first met the client four years ago when the client was rough sleeping and entrenched in addiction. Since that time she has experienced further instability and crisis, and relapsed throughout periods of recovery. The Resettlement Worker has continued to be a stable, safe and consistent person throughout every twist and turn. The young female has now found her own accommodation and has stabilised with her substance misuse, with a clear support package in place from the Resettlement and Housing First Team.

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