Saturday, 04 July 2015

Charities join forces to support homeless

Homelessness charities have joined forces to help men and women using winter shelters gain access to support networks and services.

Staff from Thames reach and Housing Justice will be providing advice, housing and reconnection services to guests in ten winter shelters in a bid to help them get their lives back on track.

Last year, 1,200 people received shelter from the schemes but half of them returned to rough sleeping, squatting or sofa surfing once their stay ended.

The new project is being backed by £174,000 of funding over two years from the Homelessness Transition Fund.

Audrey Mitchell, Thames Reach’s director of street and hostel services, said: ‘We are extremely delighted to receive a grant from the Homelessness Transition Fund to work alongside Housing Justice to provide an advice and reconnections service in winter night shelters across London.

‘We believe this presents an invaluable opportunity to provide specialist workers to assess rough sleepers whilst they are in the shelters, link them into agencies and ensure that they receive help to get off the streets.

‘We are pleased to be working with Housing Justice on this project which will be a major boost to our efforts to end rough sleeping in London.’

Alison Gelder, Housing Justice director, said ‘It’s really exciting for Housing Justice and Thames Reach to be working together to help the winter shelter guests. Rather than moving out on the streets when the shelters close, we very much hope this will help the guests to move on with their lives.

‘It’s also an extremely important step in getting faith groups to work in partnership with statutory agencies like Thames Reach.’

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