Welcome to the Faith & VCS Homeless Forum new web site for Gloucester and the wider area. The Forum's aim is to advocate for those 'without a voice', increase awareness and understanding of homelessness and vulnerability and encourage partnership working across all sectors. Members shall share experiences and work collectively to help support and improve services for those at risk of being made homeless and those who are currently experiencing homelessness in Gloucester and the wider area.
Members should include but not be limited to, representatives from all faiths in Gloucester, Voluntary & Community Sector and relevant Service Providers. The Terms of Reference detail our overriding purpose, its aims and objectives, membership, organisation, structure and administrative arrangements.
The Forum meets every quarter and invites speakers to raise/increase awareness, talk on themes of concern and interest, etc. The group can also invite service providers to meetings to help explain arrangements in more detail so that there is a shared understanding which can be disseminated as appropriate through member’s networks.
The On Your Doorstep web site works in partnership with Churches Together and is an important link with this website. Both web sites focus on helping with community engagement. Churches Together has supported and helped organise the setting up of the Forum and is a valued member of the Forum.
The Forum is supported by the County Homelessness Coordinator (CHC). The role was created through the partnership of all six Local Authorities in Gloucestershire with the aim of reducing street homelessness and its impact in the County. See News for latest info.
- 'Hero of the homeless', Citizen articles, Good Samaritan gives meals and clothes and challenges the city council to give him a building.
- A reported worrying increase in evictions from supported housing. There is a 6 week period where those evicted are not allowed back, so where do they go? made homeless for us to refer them to Streetlink, onto St Mungo's to find, into START,....... there must be a better way. We will contact Oonagh at the County Council to first assess extent.
- The Homelessness Reduction Private Members Bill is to be supported by the government, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed. Read more... St Mungo's supports the Bill...read here. Latest: Bill approved and passes its first hurdle...read BBC News. The Forum has signed up as a Crisis campaigner.. read latest here.
- IMPORTANT: Healthwatch Gloucestershire Report - Report on access to health and social care services by marginalised and vulnerable people in Gloucester. It was heartening to read, in the HWG Report, that the feedback about the Homeless Healthcare Team (HHT) was particularly positive and should be used as a model of Best Practice. Read the article in the Citizen here.
- New drug and alcohol recovery serice, CGL, to take over from Turning Point on the 1st January, read latest news here. Partner ARA. We have signed up to receive CGL Newsletters, to be stored in NEWS.
- The next Mental Health & Wellbeing Stakeholder event will be held on 23 November from 12.45pm-4pm at the Dowty Sports and Social Club, Staverton, Gloucester. The event will focus on the development of a new Gloucestershire Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy. Go to NEWS to book your place.
- Public Health England SW Mental Health e bulletin October
- URGENT: Supported Housing at Risk, see 'Day of Action' etc., in Supported Housing at Risk.
- Follow Joy Hibbins on Twitter. Founder and Director of Suicide Crisis, a charity which runs a Suicide Crisis Centre in Cheltenham, UK
- 'Please don't call us difficult to engage'. Very interesting article for mental health professionals...read here.
- The UK has seen a shift in what drugs people are becoming dependent on as more and more are using cannabis. Admissions to treatment centres for cannabis dependency increased by 64% between 2005 and 2015.
- Gloucester City Mission latest Newsletter.
- Staffordshire Recovery Matters! Staffordshire County Council propose over 50% budget cuts for drug and alcohol treatment services....Say NO to the cuts, read about and sign the petition HERE.
- Amazing Support at 'The Cavern' went live in July, see News.
The County Council 'Joint Strategic Needs Assessment' (JSNA), unfortunately does not include homeless healthcare. We recognise the JSNA as a strategic document and at present there is an important omission, sadly we are told Homeless Health is not a priority as yet;....inclusive health for all?? We will seek a meeting with the Director of Public Health and look to work together with the authorities on taking this forward. Click HERE to read about JSNA's. Click here for the subsequent 'JSNA Briefing Paper' for the Forums meeting on the 15th June, Agenda Item 4.
- Turning Point Gloucestershire Roads to Recovery Drug & Alcohol Service. Celebrating 3 years of service with some 1400 people supported to succesfully leave treatment during that time, 281 people in Gloucester in 2015. Legal Highs a useful Guide.
Insitute of Alcohol Studies (IAS): The independent voice on alcohol policy to help Local Authorities, Commissioners, Public Health, Health & Wellbeing Board, etc.
- View the Safer Gloucester - 'Safe & Attractive Streets Policy: Draft May 2016' in Members Area, read here, as presented at our June meeting. Read how this progresses to the Final Policy in the minutes, comments and concerns of the Forum members, etc
- Read our 'Local Review of the DWP Operation...' following concerns with benefit delays and extreme food poverty and the disturbing number of children involved. Read our letter to Richard Graham MP and his response, all in Members Area.
- What's New in Mental Health - go to NEWS and Health & Wellbeing.
- Stay informed - know your rights. The Disability Rights Handbook Edition 41 for 2016/17 is now available to pre-order. See NEWS for more info.
- Read about the MEAM approach. Go to Addictions/street drinkers.
- VCS Alliance Voluntary Sector Update...see NEWS for updates.
For the Autumn 2015 latest official Street Count statistics of rough sleepers for Gloucester go to Homeless page.
Our Homeless Health Review encouraged Gloucestershires Health & Wellbeing Board to sign up St Mungo's Charter for Homeless Health. To date 42, now 43, H&WB Boards around England have signed up. Great news,...Gloucestershire's H&WB Board HAS signed up as at JULY 2016. We had a meeting with the CCG and Gloucestershire Care Services, see notes of meeting in members area, (other minutes) and the CCG kindly offered to liaise with the H&WB to take this forward on behalf of the Forum.
- Cinnamon Faith Action Audit Gloucester: The value that faith groups bring In Gloucester - 'we counted 138 projects, 22,711 beneficiaries in 2014, ...864 volunteers and over £1 million of financial value being provided by faith groups in the area'.
- The Policy Research Unit. The contribution of faith organisations to the voluntary sector in local communities. Read the PRU Document here.
Please note that the content of the Faith & VCS Homeless Forum web site is for general information purposes only and is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. While the Forum is not resposible for the content of external linked web sites, being provided only as a 'convenience', we hope they offer you the help or information you are looking for.