Together with its partners, Gloucester City Council secured £990k government funding to provide extra support for long-term homeless people in Gloucestershire for whom homelessness has become a way of life.

In partnership with Gloucestershire County Council, Clinical Commissioning Group, and the other district councils in the county, Gloucester City Council has secured up to £990,000 ‘social impact bond’ (SIB) funding for long-term homeless people in the county, along with only seven other areas in the country.

The funding for this four year project will be dedicated to delivering a new service to help long-term and repeat homeless people. Many of these people have extreme and complex needs and need tailored one to one support to get them off the streets and into accommodation.

Later this month cabinet will be asked to approve that the city council lead on the SIB funding and the commissioning of an organisation to deliver the new service, which will start in October this year.

The new service will be extremely targeted, working with 110 people in the city who have a long term history of rough sleeping or have spent many years interacting with homeless services.

Professionally trained members of staff called ‘navigators’ will work with small case loads, building a genuine rapport and level of trust with each individual person.

The navigators will maintain continuous support and engagement with the people they’re working with – regardless of any setbacks that might occur. This level of support will continue through every step of their journey, even when the individual is successfully housed.

This innovative support will help those who have not responded to previous and traditional services. Its purpose is to help each individual get the support they need from both mental and physical healthcare, drug and alcohol services, education and training opportunities and housing.

Cllr Colin Organ, cabinet member for housing at Gloucester City Council said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve been chosen for the SIB support scheme and that we’re going to lead on the funding. It will help a specific proportion of genuinely homeless people who have extremely complex needs and have struggled to find a way out of homelessness in the past.”

Cllr Kathy Williams, cabinet member for long term care at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We’re aware that the current services aren’t reaching everyone. This new personalised approach will help us specifically support people who need it the most whilst also focusing on breaking the cycle of repeat homelessness.”

The new project will be in addition to existing services. This includes the city council’s housing advice and homelessness team, and supported accommodation and community-based support services funded by the county council.

Additionally, the existing countywide homeless outreach team will be able to focus much more heavily on ‘no second night out’ rapid response with new rough sleepers.

Members of the public are encouraged to refer people they believe to be street homeless to the P3 Outreach team, via www.streetlink.org.uk the Streetlink phone app, or 0300 500 0914.

Gloucester News Centre – http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk

One to one support to be offered to the county’s homeless by Shaun Moore | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/