This was the Home Page for the Faith Homeless & Vulnerable Forum web site for Gloucester. This site, for a number of years, included helpful links, info on homelessness, sign posting, homeless agencys, DWP, SWEP latest, Street Policys, addictions, Health & Wellbeing, JSNA's, Mental Health, self harm, supported housing, youth suport, modern slavery, domestic violence, etc.......hopefully a sort of one stop shop. Content has been taken off-line due to the following:
Updates on Changes: The Glouceter Homeless Forum has not met now for over 2 years as at Aug 2022. The City Council are reponsible as lead member for the Forum. Discussions are ongoing with the City Council to try to encourage them to restart the Forum but progress is slow. It was proposed by the City Council to recommence in September. Noted that Cheltenham Forum has met all during Covid.
RECAP. The Faith & VCS Homeless & Vulnerable Forum, for a number of years, included members from Faith groups, from VCS and from statutory and service providers. It was decided, as of Sep 2019, to make changes. Way Forward: The Council has now set up a new Forum called the Gloucester Homeless Forum and this Forum will include original members from the VCS and providers. Churches and Faith groups are now setting up a smaller member group known as the Faith Homeless & Vulnerable Forum, who will sit on the Councils new Forum. It is hoped that this will encourage more churches and faith groups to get involved. The future of this web site will need to be decided. Some basic info has been retained at present, as follows below About Homelessness..., including a flavour of issues the forum was involved in/ shared, as highlighted in Latest News.
A critical ongoing issue that must not be lost, is the County Council Public Health Audit Review re a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) for Homeless Health. The Forum saw this as a big gap/ ommision and encouraged Public Health, with joint working with the Director, to undertake this critical review. The Director first took the Homeless Healthcare Charter to be adopted by the Health&Wellbeing Board. The Review was completed last year, but has still not been released or published as at July 2020. JSNAs are local assessments of current and future health and social care needs that could be met by the local authority, CCGs, or the NHS Commissioning Board. They are produced by health and wellbeing boards, and are unique to each local area. Local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have an equal and joint duty to prepare JSNAs and JHWSs, through the health and wellbeing board. The responsibility falls on the health and wellbeing board as a whole. Questions such as why are the authorities 'sitting' on this report or kicking it into the long grass, why did the consultant author leave......we should do a FOI request...but better to maintain dialogue....
About Homelessness...what is it?....Homelessness is devastating, dangerous and isolating. On average, homeless people die at just 47 years old. People sleeping on the street are almost 17 times more likely to have been victims of violence. More than one in three people sleeping rough have been deliberately hit or kicked or experienced some other form of violence whilst homeless. Homeless people are over nine times more likely to take their own life than the general population. Read more at link to Crisis.
What to do? Where to get help? Councils Homeless Infograpth is helpful for services and contact information. Please note that the phone number for Forest of Dean Housing Advice • 01594 812309 • should read 01594 812308.
Priority to first contact the City Council Housing Options Team ring 396396 to make a homeless duty appointment at The Gateway, 92-96 Westgate Street. Important: If you are vulnerable, at risk (say lone female) and roofless contact the City Council Housing Options Team for Homeless individuals and ring 01452 396538 for an emergency homeless duty appointment the same day OR go to The Gateway.
Note: Greensquare do not now provide Commuity Support for 'sofa surfers' and people at risk of homelessness.
Homeless or at Risk of Homelessness. P3 homeless drop-in Navigators in both Gloucester & Cheltenham for Accomodation Based Support. Was 13 to 15 Ladybellgate Street, now 72 Worcester Street, Gloucester Tel: 08081 786003 open Monday-Friday 9am-1pm and.... Montrose House, Wellington St, Cheltenham Tel: 01242 576002 open Mon-Fri, 2pm-5pm.
Streetlink individuals...Download the app | www.streetlink.org.uk | 0300 500 0914. Once streetlinked the individaul will then be referred to the P3 Assertive Street Outreach Team who will then need to find and verify that the rough sleeper is actually homeless and doesn't have accomodation... being vulnerably housed in poor emergency accomodation is not homeless. This has been found to be critical in getting help from service providers, access into the SSTS Hub, etc.
P3 Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub, the new SSTS Hubs are staffed 24/7, for homeless individuals, ring 767077. Provides immediate assessment with 'sit-up' service and rapid accomodation. However P3 have asked that we please contact the hubs on the numbers as follows before we send anyone, as they have to ensure the safety of everyone within the hubs and an appropriate and safe time may have to be arranged for any new referrals. For Gloucester T: 01452 767077, T: 01242 335733 for Cheltenham. (We are asked by the CHC that if there are problems in getting and accessing homeless individuals, into the SSTS please contact Jeremy Pugh, Service Manager, in the first instance. If you are not satisfied follow P3's complaint process. Only then contact Kathy, CHC or Kath, Lead Commisioner).
Emergency Duty Team (EDT) on hand evenings, after 5pm and weekends 614194. They will ask you some questions and help by finding emergency accomodation. Make sure you can get to the accomodation offered. It has been reported that The Dorchester has infestation of bed bugs and treatment is underway. The Dorchester is used as emergency accomodation by Councils such as Gloucester, Cheltenham, CotswoldDC,...
P3 Accomodation Based Support (ABS) Freephone 08081 786003.
Citizens Advice (CAB) office in St Michaels Square..Messenger House has drop-in days/times, you would need to get there at say 9am for 9:30am opening, first come first served, very busy, now open Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays due to budget cuts......phone 01452 527202. Debt counselling as well but need to call and arrange appointment, big waiting list. http://gloscab.org.uk/gloucester/
Need help? Useful Signpost Cards for local Information. Go to GCM web site to download, link https://www.gloscitymission.org.uk/need-help
A New Signpost Card for the above Homeless Services has been produced but is awaiting update on Community Support taken over from Greensquare.
If all else fails and all the homeless services cant help - direct individuals to Richard Graham's MP's Office, he has excellent case workers who can help. If you are homeless, destitute, been sanctioned, benefit cuts, PIP, vulnerable, unsafe housing ......he has a hot line with DWP and CAB. Need to ring for an appointment 01452 501167. His Gloucester Office is at St Peters House, 2 College street, Gloucester GL1 2NE
Thought: Mental Health Social Care covers a wide area and the fact that mental ill health is recognised as being closely correlated with homelessness being both a cause and consequence of the loss of accommodation.
Latest News (examples of historic News published here)
- Gloucestershire launches new domestic abuse service for teens. STREET Gloucestershire, a new service supporting young people aged 13 to 19 who have been affected by domestic abuse in their own teenage relationship or within their family, officially launched on Friday 13 December at Gloucester Rugby Club.
HPR Latest News. HPR is a national public health bulletin for England and Wales, published by Public Health England. Shooting Up annual report in summary.
- Kingfisher Treasure Seekers Dec Newsletter read HERE.
- CRISIS report for last Christmas found that 521 people in our city were homeless. Some 506 of those were living in temporary accommodation, including hostels and B&Bs. At least 15 were sleeping rough on the streets. A further 188 people were homeless across the rest of Gloucestershire, including 173 people living in temporary accommodation and 15 rough sleepers. And across the country one in 200 people are living on the street. Read article HERE. The Councils spot check last November 2018, found that there were only six people sleeping rough across the city, according to their data. City chiefs subsequently said they had seen a near two-third drop in the number of homeless people in Gloucester in the space of 12 months. Officials went out on to the streets of Gloucester on Tuesday, November 13th 2018, to do a spot count on the number of people who were seen sleeping outdoors. However, subsequent Council data is recognised as being a major under reporting of the scale of the homeless crisis, does not include known rough sleepers not bedded down, the hidden homeless, sofa surfers, those in squats or in bus station, lone females who walk around at night and sleep in the day, etc., .....a key area of concern by UK Statistics Chief, Sir David Norgrove, who has said that the data needs to be improved etc., Read article HERE. At present there are over 130 entrenched rough sleepers in the Councils SIB Project.
Gloucestershire Live Believe In Gloucester Awards - The Best Community Project award was won by Gloucester City Mission which works with homeless and vulnerable members of society offering drop-in support advice and many other areas of support..... congratulations to GCM, well deserved.
- Latest County SWEP Policy 2019/20. Read HERE.
A Bad Deal for Gloucester's most vulnerable - plan's to charge City's poorest meets opposition, read HERE. The Council have bought it on themselves some say, by accepting extreme budget cuts, why take it out on the poor, needy and vulnerable. Gloucester City Council ranks eight nationally as one of worst-hit in the UK for Government spending cuts since 2009; worst in the south. Total spending cuts of 23.4%. Read more HERE from GloucestershireLive. CentreforCities 'Cities Outlook 2019 Report'.. for data open Report HERE. Shouldnt Council leaders and our MP Richard Graham, be putting a case for reducing cuts....austerity over say our Tory government...not here in Gloucester.
WINTER SHELTER SPONSOR A BED APPEAL.
If you are able to help out by sponsoring a bed (or part of bed) it would be most appreciated. Maybe a group of you could sponsor one or more beds? www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/gcmsponsorabed
This year will be the fourth year that Gloucester City Mission has been running a Winter Shelter for the homeless and vulnerable in our city. It costs £39,000 each year to run the shelter, this includes staffing, food, bills, insurance and general running costs. We are very grateful to our partners Emmaus Glos who support the shelter. The Winter Shelter is also part of the critical Council SWEP provision. GCM... Leading the homeless and vulnerable away from a life they didnt choose. www.gloscitymission.org.uk
- Winter Shelter Statistics. The governments national official yearly rough sleeper count, which has been questioned re its poor quality of data by experts, namely the UK Statistics chief Sir David Norgroves, see news below, gave Gloucester as only 6 rough sleepers. This is recognised as only a snap shot one evening and we have questioned the use of a count as being extremely unhelpful and divisive as it does not give actual useful data, being well under reported. The Council makes the decision on whether to do a count OR intelligent estimate in liaison with providers; we support an estimiate. Some actual Quality Data: GCM provided over 1500 beds with 111 referrals. Opened for 122 nights. Averaged 13 sleepers per night. 103 different people stayed for at least 1 night. 84.5% men, 15.5% women. 91% of referrals had been sleeping rough in Gloucester.
- Food Bank Oct 2019: More Children than ever are relying on Gloucestershire's Food banks as usage soars and campaigners blame Universal Credit. Read article HERE. Food bank usage in Gloucestershire has hit a record high, as thousands of hungry children and adults "simply cannot afford" to eat. Exclusive figures provided by the Trussell Trust show that 28,158 emergency food parcels were issued to people in need across our county in 2018/19. More than one in three of these food parcels - or 10,892 - was for a child.
- Independence Trust: A-Z Prospectus Sept - Dec 2019.
- Persistent alcohol misuse: A ‘Blue Lights’ project is in development with Alcohol Concern to work with a small cohort of people with persistent alcohol problems. The priority cohort for this approach are those who are well known to frontline and emergency services and have a history of not engaging with help or treatment services. Gloucestershire County Council, Clinical Commissioning Group, Police and Probation are working in partnership the NHS and other provider services to implement this project locally.
- Free Suicide Prevention Training, for details click HERE. GCC Bulletin 25th Sept.
- Latest PHE Health Protection Report. Go to Addictions. National Intelligence Network in drug health harms Aug 2019, access HERE. Alcohol and drug Misuse Prevention & Treatment, access HERE.
- GCM's Survive the Night 2019 for World Homeless Day 10th October. Can you sleep for one night to raise funds for GCM, at your workplace, church etc., or how about signing up to sleep in Gloucester Rugby's Kingsholm Stadium, try a night in the Shed. Places are limited for the Shed, you will need to book your place. Please register and see link to poster, registration pack and details HERE.
- Read about the exciting partnership between Kingfisher Treasure Seekers and The Wiggly Worm Project HERE.
- Gloucestershire Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for Homeless Healthcare (JSNA) delayed due to need for 'ethics approval'. We dont know what this means so have asked (Aug 2019) County Public Health who are undertaking this critical JSNA known as 'Homeless Health Needs Audit'. JSNA's are a high level strategic audit for all health issues, could be no audit, no budget....go to JSNA. We thank PH for involving us. We will look to follow up re critical JSNA Alcohol Audit, Alcohol Action Plans...and wonder why aren't there any? yet Council includes action/ fines / criminalise.. against those with alcohol addictions but no plans to address this big social issue?? We will again encourage PH to undertake this JSNA.
- Drug Overdose Concerns. In answer to our quiries, see below, we have been informed that the protocol for alerting to drug related harm is currently under revision by Public Health at the County Council, to ensure that it fits the makeup of the current provider landscape. Gloucestershire County Council is the lead organisation as this relates primarily to a Public Health issue. Other partners are brought in on a case by case basis and the majority of communications go out via CGL. In cases of National or Regional significance Public Health England would be the lead organisation, but GCC would lead locally. We have kindly been given contacts to be able to escalate concerns in the future.
- World Suicide Prevention Day 10th Sept 2019. In support of World Suicide Prevention Day 2019, organisations and charities that work in suicide prevention and postvention will be at Gloucester Royal Hospital and Cheltenham General Hospital to reflect and offer guidance and support to anyone who needs it, and to explain more about what their charity provides. For poster click HERE.
- Drug deaths in Gloucestershire are up by 44 per cent, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. Read articles HERE and HERE.
- Update on Greensquare Drop-In Closure for Housing Support & Sofa Surfers, as at 19th Aug: Before August 2019, Greensquare had an important drop-in at the City Council Reception. We were advised by the Council to sign post individuals there, critical when individuals were not able to phone or didnt have mobiles. At present Gloucester does not have any drop-ins, but Greensquare are currently looking for a new venue but have no time frames. For more information, please call their Helpdesk on: 01452 726 951
- URGENT PLEASE SIGN & CIRCULATE: From George Clarke. A week ago my programme George Clarke’s Council House Scandal aired on Channel 4, a programme I’ve wanted to make for many years. The show highlights the housing crisis and why this country desperately needs to build more Council housing at scale and at quality. Since then over 135,000 people have joined my campaign calling on the Government to build 100,000 new Council houses a year for the next 30 years. I’m overwhelmed by all the public support so far - but now we need to keep the momentum up. Will you sign my petition so we can ensure that everyone has a place to call home in the years to come? click on link.... UK Parliament: Commit to building 100,000 new council houses every year for 30 years.
- Message from CRISIS: When some people are struggling, it has an impact on our whole society. And right now, people who need support are being forced into homelessness. We’ve put together a short animation to explain how, by investing in housing benefit, we can prevent people from losing their homes. Will you add your voice to our #CovertheCost campaign, and send a message to the UK Government that housing benefit must cover the cost of rent across England, Scotland and Wales? Count me in
- Needle exchange pharmacies in Gloucester
- SWEP. SWEP applies all year when Met Office weather warnings are in place; yellow, a.mber or red....see SWEP protocol. For Met Office weather warnings read HERE. Our CHC has kindly confirmed SWEP has been called for Friday 9th and Saturday 10th August, both YELLOW warnings. The Outreach and Housing Options teams have been made aware.
- Shelter. Read their open letter to PM Boris Johnson. Across the country, almost 280,000 people are homeless. With Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister and a massive shake up in Westminster, our work is now more important than ever. We must continue to make sure that beating homelessness stays at the top of the national agenda. Shelter have written to the new Prime Minister, laying out what he must do to pull us out of this housing emergency. At the top of this list is that the government must scrap no fault evictions and build many more social homes
The City Council reception has now moved .. '......into the heart of the city'. The Council says... 'We opened on the 31st July at 'The Gateway', 92-96 Westgate Street (next to Janes Pantry) to make it easier for you to access our services'. Find out more. Move from a 'drop-in' to an 'appointment' system, see news below. Please note that the Greensquare drop-in is now closed in Gloucester. We have not heard of any alternative, Greensquare were said to be looking at a drop-in at CGL.
- Be aware: We are aware of several individuals who have had heroin overdoses in last few days down to a strong batch we believe, apparently one in critical condition. We have asked who has the lead?, is there a protocol? re communications....should it be CGL?
Good News: Tenancy Rescue and Homelessness Prevention Initiatives PDF 139 KB Gloucester City Councillors approved at its cabinet meeting on the 12th June a scheme to help prevent homelessness. Read more HERE. (will open at the relevant cabinet document, scroll down to find the said item.) Q: How can we connect individuals with this welcomed rescue intiative when individuals are threatened with or being evicted, does it cover sofa surfers??
- The centuries-old Vagrancy Act, which makes rough sleeping and begging illegal in England and Wales, should be scrapped because it is needlessly pushing vulnerable people further from help, according to a new report from homelessness charity Crisis. The calls come as the Government today announces its review of the Act as part of its rough sleeping strategy. The Act was included, apparently at the last minute, by the City Council in its Safe & Attractive Streets Policy without the Forum being made aware. LIBERTY ask us to take action, read HERE to contact your MP.
- Be aware: An individual we were advocating for, who had been rough sleeping for months in the railway underpass etc.,.. we had just got him, together with help of P3, into the SSTS Hub. He had given his life to Christ and was on the up. He was then found, passed away, with an overdose of heroin, high strength, which we believe was administered to him/ injected... without his consent by an unknown third party, he had been clean for a number of years. This is the word on the street but we have no evidence of this. June 19.
- If all else fails and all the homeless services cant help - direct individuals to Richard Graham's MP's Office, he has excellent case workers who can help. If you are destitute, been sanctioned, benefit cuts, PIP, vulnerable, unsafe housing ......he has a hot line with DWP and CAB. Need to ring for an appointment 01452 501167. His Gloucester Office is at St Peters House, 2 College street, Gloucester GL1 2NE.... and/or give the individual a tent and sleeping bag and then streetlink the individual where they are sleeping rough/bedded down but also give them the phone number for the Emergency Duty Team (EDT).. (you on their behalf or the individual, can ring EDT after 5pm for emergency accomodation, be aware the individual needs to be able to get there, can they walk? are they well enough? do they have bus fare? do buses run if late? EDT will do a short referral, see Homeless Infograph below for contact number)
- StreetLink has been found to be critical in getting someone into the SSTS Hub, whereby rough sleepers can be verified where they are bedded down by the Councils P3 Outreach Team. Streetlink offers the public a means to act when they see someone sleeping rough, and is the ﬁrst step someone can take to ensure rough sleepers are connected to the local services and support available to them. Download the app | www.streetlink.org.uk | 0300 500 0914. The hubs are best utilised for those who are rough sleeping currently, not already on the 'Pathway', and need specialist support.
- Update on City Council move. Due to the City Council reception move to Westgate, there will be appointment only for the Housing Option Team. Homeless individuals can ring 01452 396538 for a homeless duty appointment. We are told that the appointment system will not mean that people have to wait to see the Housing Options team if they are roofless that night. There will be roofless appointments on the same day (as per statutory law and recommended by the HRA).
The appointment system is specifically designed to give customers a better/more efficient service; it will stop people having to wait hours in reception to see the next available officer. Instead they can book an appointment for a specific time that day. This has been designed with the most complex and chaotic individuals in mind, as often they are unable to wait for long periods due to their specific support needs.
It also means that the most vulnerable and at risk individuals will be seen first; people who are not in immediate need having appointments booked in a few days time, rather than taking up time on day that is needed for those who are roofless.
Green-Square will still be providing housing related support and have a variety of drop-ins throughout the county. Housing Officers can refer directly to Green-Square during an appointment or give details of their drop-ins depending on the individuals need and capability.
- Due to the City Council receptions move to Westgate Street, end of July, there will no longer be a Greensquare drop-in service; Greensquare have the remit for housing related support including homeless sofa-surfers. DO NOT signpost individuals to the Greensquare Council drop-in from end July. Greensquare are looking for other locations and we have asked the CHC for location of other drop-ins in Gloucester. We have been advised to contact Greensquare by phone, when with the person needing help.
- End of Private rented tenancy remains the largest cause for loss of accommodation. As a result of this knowledge the districts have their own landlord incentive schemes in order to assist individuals on UC to secure private rented accommodation. NB: this can only be monitored if the individual attends a housing options appointment and informs the housing officer of the reason they lost their last accommodation.
- There is a recognised severe lack of suitable good quality accomodation, social and council housing, in Gloucester particularly for those who fall on hard times and loose their accomodation, private tenancy's for those on housing benefit and emergency accomodation, utilising poor B&B hotel accomodation, unsupported... (Read poor housing concerns of Healthwatch Report especially for vulnerable women). The City Council recognise this and and negotiations are underway for 45-50 units of temporary accommodation. Read notes of City Council Meeting on 21st March. We do not need poor government policy re 'permitted development rights' of industrial units, not requiring planning approval, we need secure stable accomodation.
- Improve quality of rough sleeping figures says UK statistics chief. Gloucestershires rough sleeping numbers this year was via an 'actual' count as opposed to the usual 'estimate'. Gloucesters data was less than previuos years but recognised as just a snap shot one weekday evening. There has been some disagreement on the validity of the 'count' when it is recognised by some that this was not an accurate figure, not reflecting actual number of rough sleepers. The MHCLG methodology has always been that local areas decide the approach to use to assess the extent of rough sleeping in their local area to provide the most accurate figure, we believe an 'estimated' count helped to do this; MHCLG approach refers. It also seems to be recognised that the numbers of rough sleepers will increase over weekends when sofa-surfers are kicked out; the Forum has always had concerns on the high number of sofa-surfers, the hidden homeless. 'Actual' counts have now been questioned as not reflecting the actual numbers.....reported accusations that some councils have deliberately underreported the scale of the crisis in their area after receiving government funding. Read article https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/mar/26/improve-quality-of-rough-sleeping-figures-says-uk-statistics-chief. Sir David Norgroves letter... https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/response-on-rough-sleeping-statistics-in-england/. MHCLG response... https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/mhclg-response-letters-rough-sleeping/
Citizens Advice. CAB is always good to go and see first to get advice, benefits that can be claimed, situation, form filling, etc. Link to CAB below re office in St Michaels Square..Messenger House has drop-in days/times, you would need to get there at say 9am for 9:30am opening, first come first served, very busy, now open Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays due to budget cuts......phone 01452 527202. Debt counselling as well but need to call and arrange appointment, big waiting list.
Gloucester City Council ranks eight nationally as one of worst-hit in the UK for Government spending cuts since 2009; worst in the south. Total spending cuts of 23.4%. Read more HERE from GloucestershireLive. CentreforCities 'Cities Outlook 2019 Report'.. for data open Report HERE. Change in total spending: 1. Barnsley - 40.4 per cent 2. Liverpool - 31.8 per cent 3. Doncaster - 30.6 per cent 4. Wakefield - 30.1 per cent 5. Blackburn - 26.7 per cent 6. Newcastle - 26.6 per cent 7. Stoke - 24 per cent 8. Gloucester - 23.4 per cent!! Will our MP challenge this especially if northern cities get an EU Brexit dividend... Why has Oxford had a +14.7% increase? The County Council has to make nearly £21million in savings/cuts next year..
- Treasure Seekers July Newsletter: Read HERE
- Great News: Tenant Fees Bill. Thank you to all who supported the campaign by Shelter. Almost 3 years after the ban on letting fees was first announced in Autumn 2016, the government finally approved the Bill, which will ban letting agents and landlords charging ridiculous letting fees. Mark 1st June 2019 in your calendars when the Bill becomes operational. Read more at Shelter Blog HERE
Somewhere Safe to Stay: £5m for new network of rough sleeping hubs. Hubs are backed by up to £4.8m in government funding. Gloucestershire to be one of the first Somewhere Safe to Stay hubs to be launched:What is the SSTS Hub. The County Council and Cllr Roger Wilson, cabinet member for adult social care commissioning, described the proposed SSTS Hub as follows…... see following link to Council’s News Releases… https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/gloucestershire-county-council-news/news-march-2019/homeless-hubs-to-be-up-and-running-before-the-winter-s-out/See the helpful video by Matt.
Read more HERE. Comment: while the Forum has not been consulted, we recognise that this is really good news and positive funding. At present, we do not know anything about who will manage, control, focus, outcomes or who is liasing/coordinating with the Faith and VCS, charities...etc., we look forward to being involved. The PSE reported that:'James Brokenshire has announced the creation of a new network of rough sleeping hubs, with £5m committed to the scheme to help provide thousands of vulnerable people with specialist support to recover from life on the streets.Eleven rough sleeping hubs across England, called the ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay hubs,’ will be up and running by spring 2019 and form part of the government’s rough sleeping strategy.They will provide immediate shelter and rapid assessment for those who are, or are at risk of, sleeping rough, and provide specialist support to address those with complex needs such as substance abuse or mental health issues.The communities secretary commented: “No one should ever have to face a night on the streets, and as a government we are taking steps to ensure people are never faced with this as their only option.“These are vulnerable people, who may be dealing with complex mental health problems or addictions and require specialist help to tackle these issues and turn their lives around.“That’s why these vital new hubs will ensure those on the streets have access to professional help and guidance to start their recovery.”
Link to Gov.Uk Press Release https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-100-million-plan-to-end-rough-sleeping-by-2027. The Rough Sleeping Strategy https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-rough-sleeping-strategy.
The Forum is aware of alot of hard work being undertaken by the Council following long term major concerns about unsafe, unsupported, emergency accomodation utilsed by the authorities, commisioned services.....etc., as confirmed by Healthwatch (see report at bottom of page)....lack of 'crash pads' while rough sleepers can be referred..You may recall that we have called for a NSNO Day Centre with crash pads for say three nights for individuals, being somewhere safe, humanitarian facilities, toilets, washing, healthcare, etc.. while services can engage...we had been rebuffed so are really keen to hear progress. Think it is fair to say that the jury is still out on the operation of our SSTS Hub following some apparent concerns and issues re restricting access, but time will tell, still early days, we are still very positive, some good outcomes. Will we be asked to contribute to feedback to central government?
- Independence Trust - Please find attached the latest A-Z Prospectus and registration form for the period 21st January – 12 April 2019.
- Gloucester Forwards Employment Outreach Service Poster.
- Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Partnership Newsletter
- Your latest updates from the National Suicide Prevention Alliance, click HERE.
- Funding Boost for County Homelessness Support Services, read more HERE. The Forum subitted a written statement to central government supporting the succesful original SiB bid by our CHC to help secure £990,000 additional funding for 3 years. The countywide partnership of local authorities, led by Gloucester City Council, has secured a boost to support an extra 16 vulnerable individuals with complex needs through the ‘social impact bond’ project, ACTion Glos, delivered by P3
- Homeless or At Risk? click HERE for link to Council new web site for helpful info. about homelessness, rough sleepers, how to apply for Social Housing, etc.
- Outdoor Church has become Gloucestershire Sanctuary Fellowship for Bible / study / visits....Tuesday Lunchtime, light refreshments.... meet at the Guru Cafe at 12 for a 12:30 start. For further info 07874751543 or 07840125176.
- Launch of HaVinG: The Rt Revd Bishop Rachel Treweek and Richard Graham MP, Patrons of 'HaVinG A voice in Gloucester', officially openend the charity on Friday 5th Oct. 2018. Sustain & Enable...Create change not loose change....A hand up not a hand out. Donations to the new local charity will go towards helping the homeless in Gloucester....looking at contactless giving...Latest: HaVinG – A Voice in Gloucester has now been formally recognised and registered by the Charity Commission Registration Number: 1181040. The registered address is: 11A Cheltenham Road, Gloucester, GL2 0JE. The HaVinG website is currently under construction – when completed all details will be available on events and, more importantly, how we will be looking to make grants in the future. Our first event will be the Cloister Challenge on Friday 22 March – the web site will open in January: www.cloisterchallenge.co.uk.
NHS 70 Awards: We are thrilled to see that the Homeless Health Team (HHT) have been recognised again for their Exemplary Service to the homeless. Award presented by Paul Roberts, joint CEO of Glos Care Services NHS Trust and 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.....'A hidden gem...makes a difference to people every day..provides a safe haven...access to high quality health care...without judgement or discrimination.....' as reported in the Citizen. The Forum has always fully supported the HHT especially when there was an apparent worrying lack of commitement from the local authorities. The Forum followed up concerns re the future of the HHT with the CCG and Gloucestershire Care Services. We were really pleased with their joint committment and full support of the HHT. Link to HHT web page and full notes of our meeting are in the members area in 'Other Minutes'..
Report on the Winter Shelter Project 2018....link to report HERE. You will recall that, 'overall, the winter period of 2018 was exceptionally cold, with repeated spells of severe weather'. During the opening period, the Shelter received 134 referrals....average of 44 referrals a month. e.g. 49% of referrals came from P3 and 5% from the City Council.
Healthwatch Gloucestershire Report - Report on access to health and social care services by marginalised and vulnerable people in Gloucester. A very important report raising major concerns about emergency accommodation. 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. The new contract let by the County Council has seen a major cut in the Healthwatch budget. Subsequently Healthwatch have been unable to follow up their recommendations in the, what is known as a HW legacy report.
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. The Forum does not intend to promote or endorse any views that are expressed by third party's. 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.