Exeter gets share of £654,000 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping

Exeter gets share of £654,000 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping

2016-03-13-07-00-58

Tackling homelessness and rough sleeping in Exeter received a big boost today with news that the city has won part of £654,000 government funding.

Working closely with homelessness providers and partners in the community and voluntary sector, along with East Devon, Mid Devon and Teignbridge District Councils, Exeter will receive a share of the pot to help prevent homelessness through innovative solutions and tackle rough sleeping in the city.

Cllr Emma Morse, Lead Councillor for Customer Access, said the grant was a fantastic early Christmas present for Exeter. “We are committed to ensuring that everyone in Exeter has a roof over their head and that rough sleeping becomes a thing of the past.

“There is much work to be done but this money will help us work with those threatened with homelessness so that we can prevent it happening in the first place.”

The funding is split into two grants:
• Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council (EDDC), Teignbridge District Council (TDC) and Mid Devon District Council (MDDC) has been identified as one of the 28 new ‘trailblazer’ areas across the country and secured £359,000 collectively as part of a £50 million programme aimed at preventing people from becoming homeless.

• Exeter City Council working with EDDC, TDC and MDDC, as well as homelessness providers such as Julian House and St Petrocks, has won £295,000 to help tackle rough sleeping.

The grants will help the local authorities to understand why people are on the streets, their life experience and how best they can be assisted to move away from living on the streets. There will be a strong emphasis on prevention, finding solutions for families and individuals before they end up sleeping rough.

The initiative will focus on reducing unnecessary duplication between services and the introduction of early targeted support for those at risk and experiencing issues such as redundancy, illness or disability.

The new programme will work with a wide range of partners, across councils, the community sector, hospitals and the courts system to prevent households from homelessness through direct support and assistance. The overriding focus will be on the individual being encouraged to take ownership of their own housing need.

Today’s funding comes from the new £50 million programme to provide an innovative approach to tackling homelessness, with prevention at its heart, announced by Prime Minister Theresa May and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid in October.

Further reading: 
My Storify feed on the issue: 21/12/16 | Homelessness Trailblazer Fund

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Exeter City Council continuing to tackle homelessness in Exeter

Exeter City Council continuing to tackle homelessness in Exeter

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>Exeter City Council today reaffirmed its commitment to tackling homelessness in the city.

The Council has been working closely with a wide range of partners to reduce the numbers of people sleeping on the streets.

Cllr Emma Morse, Lead Councillor for Customer Access, said: “At one point a few months ago, we estimated that there were around 60 people sleeping on the streets but we have been working with our Outreach Team from Julian House and other partners, and the annual return now confirms this figure has been reduced to 41.

“Just in the last quarter, we have had good outcomes reconnecting 12 people back into homes in other areas. This is a positive sign that by working together, we can begin to make a difference.”

Cllr Morse said that whilst the ultimate aim was to end rough sleeping in the city, this was a challenging national issue, with cities such as Bristol and Oxford seeing an increase in numbers over recent years.

In 2014, the official number sleeping on the streets in Bristol was 41, but in 2015 this was up to 97, an increase of 137%.

Oxford has also seen a rise in the number of homeless people sleeping rough on city streets in the last year. During an annual count in 2015, 39 people were found sleeping on the streets of Oxford, up by 50% from 26 in 2014.

“We can’t be complacent,” said Cllr Morse, “We must continue to reach out to those without a home or who find it difficult to maintain their accommodation.”

With weather conditions getting colder, the City Council is looking to open a new night shelter in the city in preparation for the winter months. A potential building has been identified in Market Street after a long search supported by the Express & Echo. However Planning permission is needed for change of use as it is currently a retail premises. This decision will be considered by the Council’s Planning Committee for a change of use.

If given the go-ahead, the City Council will work closely with Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, NHS, Devon and Cornwall Police and local providers BCHA, Julian House and St Petrock’s to offer a safe place to sleep for those with no other options available. A number of spaces to accommodate rough sleepers will be available from mid-December through to 28 February, including specific provision for women.

Safe Sleep is a proactive approach, building on a requirement by government under Severe Weather Provision, where additional spaces are only offered whenever the temperature drops below zero for three or more nights. With the possibility of snow and freezing weather there are serious concerns for rough sleepers as there is a real risk to their health.

Once again, the winter gives providers the opportunity to work together in a more co-ordinated way with this hard-to-reach group. Julian House (Street Outreach Contract) are central to the success of the scheme and are undertaking to work with other providers to help ensure easy flow into the accommodation and support to manage those moving through into longer-term options.

Safe Sleep places will be in addition to services already provided at BCHA’s Gabriel House hostel and the St Petrock’s Resource Centre in the city, with support of the Assertive Homeless Outreach Team from Julian House. The Safe-Sleep project will provide bed spaces alongside use of the City Council’s temporary accommodation stock, where appropriate.

The project includes support alongside a place to sleep with the intention of being able to offer as many ongoing accommodation placements as possible by the end of February.

#SafeSleepExeter helps homeless people through the winter


ECC Logo

 

 

 

15/03/2016

Safe Sleep Exeter helps homeless people through the winter

Homeless people sleeping rough in Exeter and East Devon have been given a helping hand into accommodation this winter through the Safe Sleep Exeter 2016 scheme.

The Safe Sleep Exeter project saw an additional 26 bed spaces opened in the city between 1 December and 29 February to provide shelter from the cold and severe weather.

In total, 1,235 bed spaces were provided during the scheme, assisting 82 homeless people to be accommodated, with 45 moving on to more settled accommodation at the end.

The scheme was made possible by a partnership approach by Exeter City Council, St Petrocks, BCHA, and Julian House. Funding was also contributed by East Devon Council, Devon County Council, and Devon and Cornwall Police.

As a result of the positive outcomes from Safe Sleep, Exeter City Council is funding eight bed spaces with BCHA in newly furnished dormitory style rooms to continue the provision of fast access shelter for homeless people as a stepping stone to accommodation.

Emma Morse, Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for Customer Access, said: “This is a fantastic example of what can be achieved to help homeless people when we work together. We are very lucky to have services dedicated to helping the homeless in the city and look forward to further projects to help as stated in our draft homelessness strategy.”

St Petrocks logo

 

 

 

Mel Hartley, Project Manager from St Petrocks, said:
“We were delighted when Exeter City Council announced it would fund a Safe Sleep service for three months from December 1. We were very fortunate to have the commitment from our staff and volunteers who never missed any of the 91 nights.”

“From the start, all agencies recognised that this service could only be effective if offers of accommodation were made and we’re really encouraged that agencies, including our own Private Rented Service and Exeter City Council were able to deliver on this. This service not only saves lives but importantly is now proven to provide a vital route for rough sleepers into accommodation.”

BCHA logo

 

 

 

 

David Twomey, Project Leader at Gabriel House, BCHA, said:

“We are very grateful to the residents and staff of Gabriel House, without whom we would not have been able to provide this vital assistance over the winter period . Their help and goodwill throughout the three months allowed the communal areas of the hostel to be used to provide shelter for the most vulnerable and supported people to move on into more permanent accommodation.”

Julian House logo

 

 

Brett Sentence, Service Manager, Assertive Homeless Outreach Team, said: “This has provided a wonderful platform for working in Partnership to help rough sleepers towards accommodation and a more settled future.”

E&E | Exeter aims to bring more rough sleepers in from the cold

E&E logo 01
21 November 2015

Exeter aims to bring more rough sleepers in from the cold

New steps are being taken to help bring Exeter’s rough sleepers in from the cold.

Exeter City Council is gearing up to the winter with an action plan to which will see 26 spaces to accommodate rough sleepers from December 1 to February 28 – , including specific provision for women.

The City Council is working in partnership with a number of groups including the police and St Petrock’s to offer a safe place to sleep for those with no other options available.

Since 2010 there has been a yearly increase in the numbers of people rough sleeping in England. In Exeter last year there was an increase of 48per cent.

City Council Leader, Pete Edwards, said: “‘We are committed to reversing this trend by tackling the causes of homelessness and rough sleeping, although it will be an ongoing challenge.

“We recognise that many people who are homeless have complex issues. We are trying to work creatively with partner agencies to offer a safe place to sleep and the right support to get people through the winter.”

Agencies will work together with the homeless, focussing on longer term plans, and in a specific place rather than trying to meet up on the street.

It is hoped that this will help those who may have refused to ‘come inside’ and help manage anti-social behaviour within the city. Clients with no local connection will be offered reconnection services so that the provision is linked to local demand.

The project includes support alongside a place to sleep with the intention of being able to offer as many ongoing accommodation placements as possible by the end of February.

St Petrocks | Night Shelter Proposal

I’ve just seen this on the current newsletter published by Exeter Soup Kitchen Network [co-ordinated by Exeter Community Initiatives – ECI]

In response to increasing levels of homelessness in the city, St Petrock’s and partners from the Soup Kitchen Network are putting together plans to run a night shelter throughout the winter months. As part of Exeter City Council’s existing Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP), St Petrock’s Centre, Gabriel House and other local charities currently open up overnight to provide emergency accommodation for rough sleepers when the tempera-ture falls to zero degrees or below.

The proposed night shelter would extend this service to provide continuous bed spaces for risk-assessed rough sleepers for three months of the year. Experience has shown that cold weather accommodation can not only help save lives, but prove a vital first step in encouraging entrenched rough sleepers to make the move ‘indoors’.

Under the proposal, the night shelter would be run as a collaborative venture by trained volunteers, with a central coordinator employed on a part-time basis to oversee the work. Development of the project is subject to the availability of funding and an additional overnight venue or venues to operate alongside St Petrock’s Centre.

For further information, please contact Mel Hartley at St Petrock’s on: 01392 422396 

To me this seems a much better response than SWEP to the crisis faced by the street homeless during the winter months – and  a better management of resources and personnel. I hope the various partner organisations can pull it off.

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.

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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