Homelessness in Exeter – Context

Charities operating in Exeter who support homeless

 Exeter Community Initiatives http://www.eci.org.uk/ – Based at York Road ECI are an Exeter charity that have been going for over 20 years. Much of their core work is funded through donations to a share scheme or through grants from charitable trusts such as the Big Lottery Fund or local authorities such as Devon County Council. They also have contracts to run three  children’s centres in Exeter until 2017. ECI initially setup St Petrocks and Turntable Furniture project.

ECC Funding from April 2015 – £1,250 – to assist work around Soup Kitchens Meeting. This grant is coming to an end and will be part of the new Outreach Tender from October. Total: £1,250

St Petrocks http://stpetrocks.org.uk/Taken from Website – Originating as a community project providing humanitarian response to rough sleepers in the Exeter, the charity officially opened its doors in December 1994, having being given permission by the Central Parish of Exeter to adapt two thirds of St Petrock’s church for use as a homeless centre.

For over 20 years, St Petrock’s has been the first point of contact for people who are homeless, or vulnerably housed, in Exeter and surrounding areas. Our centre in Cathedral Yard is both the heart of our services and the gateway to specialist service providers.  It is unique in that it offers a comprehensive range of specialist services for people who are homeless, all under one roof.

Our work tackles not only the issues of homelessness but also the accompanying factors, such as crime, anti-social behaviour and wider social inclusion issues.

In 2014/15, a total of 1,666 people were supported through our services, from St Petrock’s centre, at HMP Exeter and in the community via the PORCH team.

The total cost of running these services runs at £500,000 pa on average and 94% of our income is spent on providing services which directly support our clients.  As a local charity, we are fortunate to have the support of the local community which provided some 32% of our income in 2014/15.

ECC Funding from April 2015 – £7,500 Prison Resettlement Worker (Homeless Prevention Grant); £6,000 Reconnection Fund (Local Welfare Support); £8,000 Health Fund (Exeter Board).

Total: £21,500

Community Housing Aidhttp://communityha.org.uk/ – Taken from website – CHA is a charity and we have been offering housing advice and support in Exeter and neighbouring areas since 1990.  We believe that everyone has the right to suitable, sustainable, secure and affordable housing.  We work with people who are in need of housing to enable them to find their own solutions, providing information and practical support.

We began life as a voluntary housing advice service, and have expanded the work that we do over the years to provide practical ways to help people to resolve their homelessness. On average, we work with around 1,000 people and households each year. Community Housing Aid is also a MINDFUL EMPLOYER® which is a Registered Trade Mark of Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

We currently support homeless and vulnerably housed people through the following three core projects:

Nightstop Devon – a same day emergency accommodation scheme for young people aged 16 – 25 in the homes of trained and approved volunteer hosts.

Resettlement Devon – helps ex-offenders and people with mental health problems to identify and access sustainable and suitable accommodation; and provides CASS, the Community Advice & Support Service, at Exeter Magistrates Court on Tuesdays each week.

Smartmove Devon – a private rented sector access scheme bringing homeless people and property owners together to create sustainable tenancies.

Bay 6 – a NEW pilot project that aims to ensure that no-one leaving hospital has to sleep rough across Devon and Torbay.

Single Homelessness Funding (ECC, EDDC, TDC, MDDC, Torbay) from April 2015 – £80,000 – Joint Contract with St Petrocks to deliver Offender Housing Resettlement Pilot Funded until May 2016. Total: £80,000

Citizens Advice Bureauwww.exetercab.org.ukAbout Exeter CAB

At Exeter Citizens Advice Bureau we can help you sort out your money, legal and other problems.

We can give you free, confidential, impartial and independent information and advice on a wide range of subjects including

  • benefits
  • employment
  • housing
  • debt
  • consumer rights
  • legal issues

And it’s not just advice. We campaign for change using your experiences to influence local and national policymakers and service providers to improve policies and services which aren’t working.

ECC & EDDC Funding from April 2015 – £9,000 (Homeless Prevention Grant) Court Desk; (Local Welfare Support) Total: £9,000

Homemakerhttp://www.homemakersw.org.uk/index.html – Homemaker Southwest is an independent charity, established in July 2001 and based in Devon. It emerged from an organisation known as the ‘Exeter Homemaker Project’, originally set up in 1991 to provide tenancy support services for offenders. As the organization has grown, the range of services we provide have been adapted to better meet the needs of the local population as a whole, enabling us to offer our services to all sections of the community.
Statement of Purpose
To enable people, especially those who are vulnerable, to set up, maintain, and sustain their homes, and thus prevent homelessness.
Aims of Homemaker
The primary purpose of Homemaker is to prevent homelessness and promote independence. We offer specialist advice and support to individuals and families who may be at risk of losing their

ECC Funding from April 2015 – £0 from homelessness. Part of EMAP which is funded through Local Welfare Support and is under review.

From October

Rough Sleepers Outreach – new provider – Information from website

ECC, EDDC and TDC funding from October 2015 – £37,474.09 per quarter – Total £150,000 per ye

Accommodation in Exeter and how it is funded

The national steer on homelessness is a reflection of the fact that no single organisation or community in Devon has all of the skills or resources needed to prevent it. Homelessness prevention therefore presents a challenge to all of Devon’s statutory organisations and communities, in terms of how they work together to achieve effective outcomes. Diagram 1 (below) is an illustration of Devon County Council (DCC) as just one partner contributing some quite specific skills and resources, into a much wider multi-agency network of skills and resources.

Screen shot 2015-12-26 at 08.40.00
Diagram 1: DCC as one contributor within a multi-agency partnership

The following update clarifies changes to accommodation providers since Devon County Council re-commissioned Homeless Prevention support services across Devon in April 2014. This only looks at changes which affect the Eastern HUB (Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon) and those services which receive funding for support hours from Devon County Councils under its Contribution into Homelessness Prevention and Support for 16 and 17 Year Olds and 18+ Homeless Prevention services.

Background

In 2013 and due to procurement regulations, Devon County Council started the process of procuring the contracts for Homeless Prevention Support hours The changes to 18+ Homeless Prevention services took place earlier this year with contracts starting in April 2014 and the 16/17 Year Old Homeless Prevention Services followed shortly afterwards with contracts starting in June 2014.

The Homeless Prevention Services were broken down into 4 categories:

  • 18+ Homeless Prevention Support Hours
  • 16-17year olds Homeless Prevention support hours.
  • Domestic Abuse Homeless Prevention support hours
  • Ex-Offender Homeless Prevention Support
  • Accommodation costs will be funded by District Councils/housing benefit
  • The tender for support hours required providers to evidence their access to accommodation that Devon County Council doesn’t pay for.

Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon Accommodation providers before 1st April 2014

Homeless Prevention Services Provider Number of units Service users
Gabriel House Shilhay Support 40 Male & Female 18-65 Complex needs
Esther Keychange 15 & 4 16+ single female complex needs
Friars Lodge Magna 7 Young mum/family support
Grapevine Chapter 1 10 Young mum/family support
Alexandra House Westcountry Housing Association 23 Single Homeless
Oakfields Stonham 13 Ex-offenders
YMCA YMCA 31 16-29 Single Homeless
Supported Temporary Accommodation (STA’s) Exeter City Council 19 Single Homeless and family support
Women’s Refuge SAFE Women fleeing domestic violence
Floating Support Sanctuary Supported Living Floating Support
Family Support in Housing Chapter 1 Floating Support
 
Young Person at Risk (YPAR) Provider Number of units Service users
Bethany House Westcountry Housing Association 13 YP Single Homeless Female only
Long Ragg (Axminster) Devon and Cornwall Housing Association (Independent Futures) 6 YP Single homeless
Foyer Raglan 36 YP Single Homeless
Hennis Project Magna Housing Association 18 YP Single Homeless
Supported Lodgings Young Devon 10 Exeter

(60 countywide)

YP Single Homeless
  

Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon 18+ Homeless Prevention Services Eastern HUB after 1st April 2014

Support Provider Total hours of support provided per week to deliver Accommodation available for support Total Number of Units Service users
Sanctuary * 794 Queens Road

Trailways

Killarney

Red House

Crescent

Haven

Sandford Walk

 

 

STAR

 

Pinhoe Road

 

Floating Support

7

10

6

16

18

6

4

 

 

15

 

4

 

200 Hours

1st stage temp (ECC)

1st stage temp (ECC)

1st stage temp (ECC)

1st stage temp (ECC)

1st stage temp (ECC)

NSNO

Move on from Haven where permanent option is private rented

First Stage and Move-on

Single Female Shared House,

Referral route into Emergency Accommodation through Housing Options; Referral to STAR through SHOT; Floating Support direct referral to Sanctuary

 

BCHA 399 Gabriel House

Glendower Court

Oxford Road

Fernley

Thursby Walk

39

4

5

13

8

18-25 & complex needs

Gabriel House move on

Referral route through Young Persons Accommodation Forum

 

Exeter YMCA 217 YMCA St Davids Hill

 

 

New Court

Morley Road

Phillip Road

27

(31 in total, 4 left for YMCA use)

8

5

4

18-24 Year Olds – Referral route through Young Persons Accommodation Forum
Westward 150 Alexandra House 23 (10 ring fenced for 18 – 24 year olds)

Referral route through Young Persons Accommodation Forum and Eastern HUB referral to Alexandra House

* Queens Road & Trailways in house support but under sanctuary contract.

Main Changes

The key feature of change was Devon County Councils decision to commission support hours rather than buildings.   Following the tender, Providers can now use the support hours in any accommodation they have available to them.

        • The Eastern HUB housing accommodation options have been split between 18-24 year olds and 25+ & complex needs.
        • A Young Persons Accommodation Forum has been set up to look at accommodation options for 18- 24 year olds (open case or non priority cases). The following accommodation options are considered:
          – Nightstop
          – Amber
          -Alexandra House
          – YMCA- Sanctuary Supported Living – Floating Support
        • Referral process will be through Eastern HUB form sent to Jenny Lynch or Holly Leadbetter at YES Centre. Chris Stocks will chair the meetings.
        • Those of HIRA score under 10 private rented accommodation to be considered with floating support from Sanctuary Supported Living if needed
        • Clients scoring under 20 can be considered for Move-on Options (see Pathway) so long as provider agrees to referral.
        • For anyone scoring 25+ on the HIRA or scoring 4 or 5 in 3 or more categories a referral will be completed to go to the new Complex Needs Forum that will shortly be set up. The Complex Needs Forum will be:

– Monthly meetings
– HIRA score 25+, scores 4/5 in 3+ categories
– Consist of: Police, Mental Health, Probation, RISE, Safeguarding, Housing, Adult Care, Public Health
– Will also oversee MEAM (Making Every Adult Matter) cases

Homeless Prevention 16-17 Year olds Eastern HUB

      • The Peninsula Framework was used as Pre-qualifier to assure quality of services for children and in order for Providers to also accept Individual Placement Agreements via CYP Brokerage
      • The Homeless Prevention 16/17 support hours aim to support young people aged 16/17 to return home (if safe) or become independent by age 18.
      • Care leavers aged 18+ (whose status has been agreed with a social worker) can access the support provided by the Homelessness Prevention 16/17 contract if it is considered appropriate.  
Support Provider Total hours of support provided per week to deliver Accommodation available for support Total Number of Units Service users
Westward 60 Bethany House 13 16 / 17 Year Olds and Care leavers up to 25 if in Full Time Education
Young Devon 40 Supported Lodgings Placements 10 16 / 17 Year Olds and Care leavers up to 25 if in Full Time Education
Keychange 127.8 Esther 19 16 / 17 Year Olds and Care leavers up to 25 if in Full Time Education
Chapter 1 62 Grapevine? Pregnant careleavers, 16/17 pregnant year olds

 

      • Homeless Prevention Panel meets fortnightly to look at prioritising referrals for 16 / 17 year olds and Care Leavers. The following accommodation options are available:-
        • Esther
        • Bethany House
        • Grapevine
        • Supported lodgings
        • Night Stop
        • Exeter Foyer
      • All hours that have been contracted are for Floating Support so any unallocated hours can be used to support 16/17 olds in private tenancies or in emergency accommodation. If YP is nearly 18 then Eastern HUB form to be completed for consideration for resources through Young Persons Accommodation Forum.

Services no longer commissioned or remaining under review as a result of commissioning exercise

Due to the commissioning process some projects would not continue to provide support under the DCC Homeless Prevention Contract. This could have been due to Organisations taking the decision to change their business model and move to supporting eg. adults instead of young people or young people instead of adults; Organisation decision to withdraw from the market; Organisations not reaching the required standard; Organisations being good enough but not scoring high enough to be allocated hours as these were awarded to other providers who scored higher.

Transition plans were put in place with existing providers to ensure people were safe and appropriately supported through any contractual changes. Changes include:

Those Organisation that did not secure a contract were:-

      • Magna Housing Association – impact is Hennis Project will close end of August 2014. and Magna are currently exploring alternative options for Friars Lodge

Buildings that may face changes in use as a result of contract changes:

      • Chapter 1, Grapevine used to support 18 year olds single parents and has now secured hours under the 16-17 yr old Homeless Prevention Contract
      • Keychange – Esther Project – used to provide service to Single Homeless Vulnerable Women and has now secured support hours under the 16-17 yr old Homeless Prevention Contract
      • Exeter Foyer – Raglan – used to have exclusive Young Persons contract and now has zero hours 18+ contract and is working to get onto Peninsula Framework to accept children incare. In the meantime a transition plan can support YP to access the service.
      • Longragg – Independent Futures – EDDC decided this was a bulding they no longer wished to retain.

Services that fell outside of DCC HP tender and were commissioned through another route:

    • Oakfields Hostel is now commissioned through National Probation Services and access is managed through this route.
    • Domestic Abuse Support services contract awarded to Splitz with no accommodation provision

Exeter Money Advice Partnership

EXETER MONEY ADVICE PARTNERSHIP FRAMEWORK

About the Partnership
Exeter Money Advice Partnership (EMAP) is a new collaboration between Homemaker Southwest, Exeter Citizens Advice Bureau and Exeter City Council. Both advice partners hold the Advice with Casework Advice Quality Standard certification. More details are available from: http://www.advicequalitystandard.org.uk/ In addition, the Partners hold the relevant insurances and licenses.

Service Specification

Service Hours
From 01 July 2013, the Partnership will provide a dedicated money advice service from the Exeter City Council Customer Service Centre each weekday between the hours of 10am and 5pm (7pm on a Thursday evening) and consists of the following elements:

  1. a full-time caseworker ‘on pull’ as needed by the Customer Service Centre staff to conduct a short (maximum one hour) ‘financial healthcheck’
  2. a full-time caseworker to undertake follow-up appointments following a ‘financial healthcheck’.
  3. a limited cover system so as to enable sickness and leave to be covered as best as possible

The ‘standard’ service rota will be as follows [2 caseworkers each day]:

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-07-28-29
EMAP ‘standard’ service rota

Eligibility

To be eligible to access the service clients must live within ECC boundaries (or be members of a resident’s household) with a current debt to ECC or at risk of running into debt with ECC (e.g. rent, council tax, benefit overpayments). ECC may refer clients outside these criteria at their discretion, i.e. local welfare support fund applicants.

Clients will be required to sign an ‘information sharing’ agreement. Clients unwilling to sign the agreement will be signposted to other local services (e.g. Exeter CAB, Age UK, Young Devon, Community Housing Aid, Shelter).

Access
Clients will access the service:

  • via on pull at Civic Centre,
  • via Exeter CAB,
  • Exeter City Council staff, or
  • 3rd party referring organisation

Clients referred on pull can be offered further pre booked appointments as necessary. All appointments to be booked by EMAP staff or, where appropriate, ECC staff.

Information Assurance and confidentiality
The Partners will maintain their own records for the purposes of insurances (where applicable). A short record of the contact (date and one-line ‘description’) will be maintained by the caseworkers on the Customer Service Centre client management system, including details of DNTU (did not turn up) and date of next appointment. Caseworkers will also be able to access DWP CIS system information, via the Customer Service Centre staff, in order to confirm the most up-to-date financial situation for the client.

EMAP caseworkers will comply with their respective organisation’s confidentiality, information assurance and equality policies. They will engage with ECC Officers as needed and in line with the client data sharing agreement in order to progress a client’s case. The caseworkers will work independently of ECC.

Dedicated confidential interview rooms will be provided for both on-pull and follow-up appointments.

Client engagement
On first contact, clients will be required to sign a data sharing agreement which gives the partners and ECC the authority to share data about the enquiry and to provide the best outcome for the client. At the end of each client contact the client will be provided with a summary of the discussions, next steps and agreed actions. The Partnership will use the common financial statement for all debt management work.

EMAP caseworkers shall work within relevant time limits and will keep clients up to date with case progress. Clients who miss 2 EMAP appointments without mitigating circumstances will have their EMAP case closed. Clients who do engage will have action suspended on their ECC debts whilst a resolution is sought

Branding, social policy and review
The Partnership will develop joint branding and documentation and work closely with Exeter City Council to promote the services on offer. The Partnership will meet with Exeter City Council at the end of each quarter to review progress and to report on any local social policy issues identified from the service.

Areas Of Advice
The Partnership will provide

  • debt advice, up to and including DRO applications, and in certain circumstances, preparation of bankruptcy and possession hearings. Where a client needs help with budgeting, they will be helped by the EMAP caseworker and may also be referred for 1 to 1 financial capability coaching at Exeter CAB or other providers.
  • benefits advice including form filling and benefit checks to be carried out as part of income maximisation work, including in certain circumstances 1st tier appeal preparation, and to assist clients with debt issues. Benefits work outside EMAP scope may be referred to Homemaker/Exeter CAB, or other providers.

Case Management
Once a client has been seen “on pull”, they may have subsequent appointments. These would be with the same caseworker. Clients will not be switched between caseworkers unless it is urgent and unavoidable to do so. Caseworkers will record figures relating to annual benefits gains and total debt amounts. Each caseworker shall have weekly designated time for admin matters, including monthly inactivity reviews of every open file

All client appointments will be recorded on a cloud-based shared diary system, available to Exeter CAB, Homemaker Southwest and ECC staff.

Debt cases will be closed once the EMAP caseworker has made substantive progress to address the presenting and on-going debt problems. The decision to close a case, as well as further action, will be at the discretion of the EMAP caseworker.

Absence
The Partnership will inform Exeter City Council Customer Service Centre of any staff absence by 10am each day. Customer Service Centre staff will cancel client appointments. On return, the EMAP caseworker will re-arrange cancelled appointments.

Where caseworker cover is limited (due to annual leave, training, etc) the “on pull” service shall take priority within agreed limits.

Other issues

Welfare Support Fund
The Partnership will identify clients eligible for support from the Welfare Support Fund, including clients for whom a debt relief order (DRO) would be appropriate. The Partnership has a number of DRO authorised intermediaries.

Training
The Partnership will provide a programme of ‘triggers and clues’ training for Customer Service Centre staff as well as briefings on welfare reform and related topics.

Credit Union
The services will link into the opportunities on offer from the local Credit Union and encourage clients to be savers as well as potential borrowers.

emap-performance-at-31-march-2015
EMAP: performance at 31 March 2015