Presentation on theme: "My name is Ella Hawkins I am the County Homelessness Co-ordinator for Gloucestershire. I was appointed in October 2012 to project manage the implementation."— Presentation transcript:
My name is Ella Hawkins I am the County Homelessness Co-ordinator for Gloucestershire. I was appointed in October 2012 to project manage the implementation and development of the Gloucestershire Action Plan to prevent rough sleeping. I am employed by all six district councils. I have worked in social housing/homelessness for many years, although my role now is much more strategic, I was a front line officer for twelve years until taking up this post. Introduction
Cotswold District Council, on behalf of all the housing authorities in Gloucestershire received funding from Government to address and prevent single homelessness early in 2012 The aim of the funding is to ensure that all homeless people approaching an authority within Gloucestershire for assistance get: 1) Tailored advice and assistance as appropriate to prevent or resolve their homelessness 2) Access to / linked into any additional support they may need
Assertive Outreach Service (incorporating N.S.N.O) Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (S.W.E.P.) Gold Standard Faith Groups and V.C.S Meetings
No Second Night Out (NSNO) is a pledge made to people new to the streets and is part of a commitment to ending rough sleeping. Government believe that, in order to tackle rough sleeping once and for all, society needs to focus its energy on meeting four simple pledges: 1. No one new to the streets should spend a second night out 2. No one should make their home on the streets 3. No one should return to the streets once they have been helped off of them, and 4. Ultimately no one should arrive on the streets.
In the strategy ‘Vision to end rough sleeping: No Second Night Out nationwide’ (2011), the Government called on every local authority to adopt the NSNO standard. Each community is different, so the method chosen to achieve the standard may vary, but there will be common requirements. The strategy notes that communities require the right services in place so that: New rough sleepers should be identified and helped off the streets immediately so that they do not fall into a dangerous rough sleeping lifestyle Members of the public should be able to play an active role by reporting and referring people sleeping rough Rough sleepers should be helped to access a place of safety where their needs can be quickly assessed and they can receive advice on their options They should be able to access emergency accommodation and other services, such as healthcare, if needed If people have come from another area or country and find themselves sleeping rough, the aim should be to reconnect them back to their local community unless there is a good reason why they cannot return. There, they will be able to access housing and recovery services, and have support from family and friends
The districts collectively have agreed to fund GEAR for a further six months. Whilst we gather data to go out to full procurement with a view to commissioning an Assertive Outreach Service with a launch date of April Assertive Outreach is fundamental to achieving the four pledges that constitute N.S.N.O
There is a humanitarian obligation on all local authorities to do all they can to prevent deaths on the streets caused by winter weather. The Gloucestershire S.W.E.P has been agreed by all six districts, one policy was agreed to ensure parity across the county. The recommended criteria is set out by Homeless Link who work closely with Department for Communities and Local Government The S.W.E.P is aimed at individuals who would not normally be a priority under the governments homeless legislation, including those individuals without recourse to public funds. It is vitally important that we have a SWEP in place although the actual numbers it deals with are relatively low. Part of the agreement within the protocol is that if a rough sleeper is found that is not linked in with the Outreach Workers. The officer placing will then make a referral to GEAR.
The National Practitioner Support Service (NPSS) was set up specifically to develop and administer this framework for providing continuous improvement in front line housing services through the development and delivery of the Gold Standard Challenge. This is funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government and based on the Government report 'Making Every Contact Count', The challenge is a local authority, sector led peer review scheme designed to help local authorities deliver more efficient and cost effective homelessness prevention services.
I chair the forum, we have open discussions regarding issues relating to homelessness, homelessness services, vulnerable people, those with learning disabilities, mental health issues, addictions, benefit problems, etc. The group is made up of statutory and voluntary bodies as well as members of faith groups. Working together excellently looking at some challenging issues. The Forum is a way of raising awareness, and encouraging joint working between the churches.
The Districts work closely with the County Council to deliver the supporting people programme which funds housing related support. Key projects which also support vulnerable homeless people include ; Community Based Support Community-based housing-related support service aims to improve the quality of people's lives, by promoting independent living and encouraging people to build on their existing strengths. This flexible service will also work with people who are in crisis, helping them to develop their own solutions by providing support and guidance to reduce the likelihood of crisis reoccurring. Support is provided in a range of community locations, where people work or live.
Accommodation Based Support The Supporting People Partnership’s key aim is to help more people to live independently in their own communities. Where this is not possible, accommodation based support (ABS) services are there to meet the needs of people with more complex, multiple and high level needs by offering intensive, specialist support which can help them recover and regain their independence. The START process is a single assessment and referral process which aims to provide clear and consistent access to accommodation based support to ensure that this resource is targeted at those most in need.