Welcome to the Faith & VCS Homeless & Vulnerable Forum new web site for Gloucester and the wider area. To find out more go to About Us.... 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.
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Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta, said “Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.”
Todays Bible verse: Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. Psalm 142:4.
Quote: 'We don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other'.
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.
- Gloucester Drop In Information Gloucester Library August 2018
- NSPA Newsletter, July 2018... https://mailchi.mp/37a2fa4129c8/nspa-newsletter-july-2018?e=95d537dc89
- 24 hours at a Suicide Crisis Centre (Cheltenham): The Independent...
This article, published in “The Independent”, explains how we respond to emergencies during a 24 hour period at our Suicide Crisis Centre, at a time when a heatwave brings increased numbers of clients, and the closure of our local A&E and staff shortages within mental health services create an even greater need for our services:- This is what 24 hours in a Suicide Crisis Centre looks like:-
- Alabare Homes for Veterans, latest Summer Newsletter.... Gloucestershire Home for Veterans had the priveledge of welcoming the Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, Lieutant General Timothy Radford.
- Two new web sites: The Mind and Soul Foundation - exploring Christianity and mental health and Premier Life, a new website aimed to help you live life to the full with its ups and downs. Click following link... http://www.mindandsoul.info/Articles/265312/Mind_and_Soul/Resources/Managing_challenging_behaviour.aspx?fb_ref=Default&fb_source=message
- GloW Gloucestershire Wellbeing - Positive actions for better wellbeing..to go to web site click HERE.
Gloucestershire health and wellbeing board's commitment for better mental health.
Named GloW, for Gloucestershire Wellbeing, the commitment sets out what it takes to promote good mental health and wellbeing and help prevent mental illness. Organisations that sign up to GloW are asked to take action to promote positive change.
- PSPO at Full Council...see resulting approved Draft PSPO below. The City Council is to be applauded for its approach in considering and assessing the issues openly and for the kind invite for the Forum onto the PSPO Working Group, which was seen as critical and gave an insight of the pressures on the Council from certain groups. Thankyou for everyones support including Liberty, Manifesto Club, HomelessLink, etc.. Reports at Full Council as follows: Public Space Protection Order Consultation Report and Proposal PDF 179 KB
To receive the report of the Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods concerning the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) public consultation and seeking endorsement of the proposals approved by Cabinet. Additional documents:
- Appendix 1 Consultation Survey Result and Feedback , item 18. PDF 97 KB
- Appendix 2 PSPO Options Appraisal , item 18. PDF 44 KB
- Appendix 3 Draft PSPOs , item 18. PDF 942 KB
- Appendix 4 Equality Impact Assessment , item 18. PDF 123 KB
- Appendix 5 Safe and Attractive Streets Policy , item 18. PDF 216 KB
- Appendix 6 Existing Provisions , item 18. PDF 63 KB
- Cabinet: We hope that you will find the written response of the Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods to a public question at Cabinet on the 13th June concerning homelessness and vulnerable people as helpful and informative...please read HERE. The Forum and Healthwatch have raised major concerns with poor and unsafe emergency accomodation over the last few years. The Forum has encouraged the City and County Council to talk to Pivotal Homes as one way forward; adopt a Landlord Registration Scheme (see City Council Letter) .....etc...watch this space.
- Update from: Gloucester & Tewkesbury 'Drop In's' : Gloucester (Gloucester Library) and Cheltenham (Childrens Library, Chester Walk) 'Drop In' for July - Whats on and where. (County wide).
- Pohwer is now delivering Advocacy Service for Adults in Gloucestershire...access web site HERE
UC. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is failing to support “vulnerable” claimants and is unable to monitor how they are being treated under its new universal credit benefit system, according to an investigation by the public spending watchdog....40% were experiencing finacial difficulties...25% unable to make a claim on-line. The report by the National Audit Office (NAO) raises a string of serious concerns about the way vulnerable claimants are being dealt with by DWP as it gradually rolls out universal credit across the country. Read more from DisabledGoNews. If you have concerns about someone on UC or who cant cope with the very complicated initial claim on-line, requiring IT skills and access to a PC, please contact CAB or the MP's Office for help....for more info go to our DWP page. Read our letter to Esther McVey MP, Secretary of State for Works & Pensions...HERE. and DWP response HERE.
- Rolling out Universal Credit - ...go to NAO Report...'the project is not value for money'.
- PSPO Latest: Great News....See Agenda Item 8, Subject PSPO, of the Cabinet Briefing Pack for the PSPO Cabinet Briefing 20th June 2018. 'Begging' and 'Unattended items' withdrawn by Council, including proposed restrictions that the Forum considered to be non-compliant with Home Office Statutory Guidelines; refer to Forums Consultation Responses. Scrutiny to be held on the 2nd July, draft Minutes HERE; Cabinet 11th July, Draft Minutes HERE..Item 19;..full Council 12th July, Draft Minutes HERE...Item 18.... All documents relating to the agenda item are being updated on Streets Policy web Page.
- PSPO: The Forum was kindly invited by the City Council to sit on the PSPO Working Group; last meeting held on the 2nd July. The Minutes of the Working Group meetings will be stored in the Members Area. All latest on the PSPO is on the public access, Streets Policy web page. The Forums Consultation Responses are somewhat detailed hence lengthy....you may like to read first the Forum's Background Paper. You will note that the necessary solid 'Evidence Base' from the Police and other professional's is critical for each and every proposed restriction in accordance with Home Office Statutory Guidelines. A 'call' to consider initiating the Councils complaints process led to a Draft Position Statement, being produced intended to go with any formal complaint. This was widely circulated for comment but was not taken forward on the overriding need to be seen to be working together with the Council, maintaining the good working relationship and open dialogue; members asked that this draft to be utlised as a further discusion document with the Council.
- UC NAO Press Release....“We don’t think DWP has shown the same commitment to listening and responding to the hardship faced by claimants. Maybe a change of mind set will follow the publication of the claimant survey on 8 June. We think the larger claims for Universal Credit, such as boosted employment, are unlikely to be demonstrable at any point in future. Nor for that matter will value for money.”
- ALPHA Testimony....Shane Taylor...watch video...click HERE. Prison officer speaks about Shane Taylor...click HERE.
- DWP Data. 1 Universal Credit: Households.
Local Authority: Gloucester
Region: South West.
The total number of households on Universal Credit as of December 2017 is 655, of which 371 are in payment. (i.e. 284 households are on UC but have no money/payments. Are these vulnerable households?)
For more information visit GOV.UK. Alternatively, you can build your own tables at Stat-Xplore.
- I was a stranger and you invited me in...Mathew 25. Sadly, the Governments 'hostile environment' continues.....read article from 'Cross Rhythms' HERE.
CAP: 'Christians Against Poverty isn't about helping Christians, it's about helping people. The drive, the reason you do it, is your Christianity and your faith and I will never knock that. I think that's right. The most important thing is the enormous number of results, and every time I mention Christians Against Poverty, I get people who tell me how it's changed their lives.' - Martin Lewis, May 2018
Watch Martin Lewis’ visit to CAP HQ
- Homeless Reduction Act Policy Fact Sheets...read HERE.
Suicide Prevention Gloucestershire: Following on from our recent event where we planted our memorial garden, Sunflowers are hosting a further event on 8 July 2018 at 2pm for individuals living in Gloucestershire who are bereaved by suicide. We will be having a ‘bring and share’ picnic at the memorial garden and then a butterfly release. We hope the sunflowers will be beginning to bloom by then so it will be a nice time to come and see them with others. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
UK specialist perinatal mental heath community teams. Updated maps from the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, show that 24% of pregnant and new mums in the UK have no access to specialist perinatal mental health services.
Suicide Crisis News: Joanna, a former client, shares her recovery journey. Joanna, one of our former clients, gave an outstanding talk about her inpatient experiences at a mental health nursing conference in West London in March. In the write-up afterwards on the NHS Trust website it referred to the talk by Jo and her fellow patient as “the most powerful part of the event” and paid tribute to their “courage in letting professionals in on their personal journeys so that they may learn from it”.
Jo has also created an inspiring online blog “Journey from the borderline: EUPD recovery” which she describes as a blog about “the events, trials and tribulations and hopefully the odd success during my period of recovery”. You can access Jo’s blog here: http://eupdrecoveryjourney.simplesite.com/
- Crisis: The Homelessness Reduction Act is the biggest change to England’s homelessness laws in four decades. Find out more in our short video and one page explainer.
It took over 80,000 Crisis campaigners joining our No One Turned Away campaign, dozens of homelessness charities and politicians across the Commons and the Lords. . . together we did it.
- Man on a Park Bench...https://vimeo.com/257896357......he survived, a park patrol saved his life....clearly stressed...he asked what was he doing?, i'm past it, you cant help me....the Park Patrol stopped to talk to him....a massive impact...he stopped him killing himself...he gave him £10....he changed his life...he now exhibits at the Tate etc
- STAY ALIVE Suicide Prevention mobile phone app.....This app is a pocket suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.....read more HERE...and how to download the app.
- Message from MIND. Where you live is such an important part of your life, and can have a huge impact on your mental health. Whether you have a mental health problem or not, we’d love to hear about your housing experiences. Everything we do is based on the real experiences of people and their relationship with their mental health. Tell us your story and we’ll make sure we feed it in to our work. And if you’re currently having problems with your housing, our website has information, and a list of places you can go to for support.
- Ilford M&S to help build pop up hostel for local rough sleepers..read HERE
NHS slashes funds for top homeless mental health team - here
- Latest Public Health England: Evidence review: Adults with complex needs (with a particular focus on street begging and street sleeping)...Link to report HERE. Key Extracts: 'In 2016, Johnsen, Watts and Fitzpatrick published a briefing paper on the issue, essentially updating some of their findings from 2007 and adding additional insights from their in depth interviews.....'. 'They continue to stress that the use of enforcement is a high-risk strategy'..such as PSPO's.... likely to result in displacement and the best responses are integrated care delivery such as housing first......about Councils rough sleepers counts on a given week day....'much of the information on the numbers of people/households that are homeless, is likely to be an underestimation of the true scale of the issue as it does not capture those ‘hidden homeless’ who sofa surf and the like'...Note: Rough sleeper count would increase substantially on weekends when sofa surfers are kicked out by friends etc...Police observation.
- Forward thinking: NIHR research on support for people with severe mental illness - here
- Forums 'Position Statement' - City Councils Street Aware Campaign Posters. For the Forums position on the 'posters' read HERE.
- GlosLive Article: 'Shocking figures reveal that 43 people took their own lives in Gloucester in the past year. Read article HERE..... It comes after the news of eight deaths in a Dorchester House, a hostel used by the council, during 2017'.
- Online Bullying: 'It’s like putting the school bully in a child’s pocket'. A mobile phone app called Sarahah lets bullies send abusive messages anonymously. And it’s already spreading like wildfire across our schools - countless children's lives are being made miserable right now. The dangerous app has hit the headlines this week after one mother spoke out about how bullies were using the app to target her child suffering from cancer. SIGN THE PETITION HERE.
- City Council criticised for demonising rough sleepers in new posters..read article in Guardian HERE. On request, a Position Paper is being drafted for members.
- Government Gambling Changes Consultation. Richard has asked for support to reduce betting stakes on Fixed Odds Betting terminals, at present £100 down to £2, by completing the Consultation following a government Review. Anyone who wants to see the stake reduced to £2 (the lowest of three options offered) should reply by the 23rd January via https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3XGGFP7
- Trusts Plan Joint Future. Ingrid Barker will take up position of Joint Chair from Jan 2018 for the 2getherTrust and GlosCareServices NHS Trust with a view to formally joining the two organisations from October.
- Landladys Concerns over Welfare of Hotel Guests...read article HERE from Gloucester Review Dec 22nd 2017. Used by Gloucester City Homeless Team and service providers to place homeless individuals who need high support.
- Another Guest House death after warning...eighth fatality of 2017...read article HERE from Gloucester Review page 6 Friday Jan 5th 2018. Said to be inappropriate use by Gloucester City Homeless Team and others to place homeless individuals who need high support...tragicaly Lynn says there isn't any support and blames the budget cuts....Where is the support? ..Is this an improvement on GEAR's old night shelter?? many say obviuosly NOT. Question:...Has no one in the City acted on Healthwatch's recommedations?? 1. That a review be undertaken of the pathways for marginalised and vulnerable people needing mental health support. 2. That communication between organisations engaging with marginalised and vulnerable people is improved. 3. That a review be undertaken of the support for those people with a high level of need or learning disabilities. 4. That a minimum standard of housing for vulnerable people be agreed, with an adequate level of emergency housing available. 5. That a wider review be undertaken of the needs of marginalised and vulnerable people across Gloucestershire.
- Open Your Eyes Gloucester City ...One Size doesn't fit all...read about disturbing gaps in support HERE. This blog site, OYE Gloucester, is about homelessness in Gloucester and the issues surrounding it is well worth a read, click HERE for Home page. We would agree that there is a real need for better care and training in the supported housing system in Gloucester as flagged up by Healthwatch.
- Government in Court Again. In February, the Government introduced regulations that limited the amount of support that people who struggle to make journeys because of psychological distress, could get through PIP. Today the High Court has ruled that these changes are unlawful because they unjustifiably discriminate against people with mental health problems.
For the important role of Day Centre Hubs within the NSNO standard read HERE.
- Urgent Legal Action for our NHS. NHA suports JR4NHS. JR4NHS say...Fund our fight to get proper consultation, parliamentary scrutiny and respect for the law. Save our NHS from an American-style take-over. Support the Legal Campaign HERE. Thank you to everybody who has helped to get us this far. Please continue to do what you can to share the link - https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/jr4nhs-round2/ ....Jeremy Hunt and NHS England propose allowing private companies to take control of our health and care services. This goes against fundamental NHS principles. Fund our fight to get proper consultation, parliamentary scrutiny and respect for the law. Save our NHS from an American-style take-over.
- Stop Planned changes to funding for womens refuges, sign the petition. New government funding plans threaten to dismantle our life-saving national network of refuges and put the lives of women and children trying to escape domestic abuse at risk. A Women’s Aid survey of refuge services showed that the proposed new model of funding could force over half of refuges responding to close or reduce their provision - resulting in 4000 more women and children turned away from the lifesaving services they desperately need. Already there are not enough refuge spaces to meet demand; data from Women’s Aid shows that 60% of total referrals to refuges were declined in 2016/17. When on average two women a week are killed by a partner or ex partner across England and Wales the stakes could not be higher.
- Homeless Link Day Centres Project latest NEWS.
- Kingfisher Treasure Seekers Nov 2017 News, read HERE. '8427 visits to our mental health drop in during 2017 so far'.
- Good News: The Autumn Budget included £20 million for Help To Rent projects to support homeless people, vulnerable tenants and their landlords. There was also £28 million to pilot a new approach solving rough sleeping known as Housing First and confirmation of their manifesto commitment to launch a Homelessness Reduction Taskforce
- ACTion Gloucester poster. From October 2017 ACTion Glos will provide intensive support to 110 entrenched rough sleepers and repeat users of homeless services across Gloucestershire. Present providers are unable to work with long-term roughsleepers in a long-term, innovative way, to help stop the 'revolving door' syndrome.
- What is Social Prescribing? link to Self Care Forum HERE.
- YourCircle - a directory to help you find your way around health and care and connect with people, places and activities in Gloucestershire.
- CGL launch new impact report...read HERE.
- MHFA England News Letter December 2017....read HERE.
- Independence Trust - Please find attached the latest A-Z Prospectus and registration form for the period 22 January – 13 April 2018.
- Professor Green: Living in Poverty on BBC iPlayer or YouTube click HERE. How can this be happening to children like 10 year old Kelly Loiuse? doesn't anyone in government care anymore? It has been said that their 2017 slogan...'Building a Country that Works for Everyone' is just another soundbite...means nothing...In the UK, one of the richest countries in the world, 1 in 4 children live in poverty, another 1 million in next 5 years.
Ending Rough Sleeping: the role of supported housing. New government funding proposals for supported housing put the country’s primary route out of rough sleeping, at risk. Read St Mungo's report here.
- National Audit Office Major Output on Homelessness, read reports, press release, etc here. 'Homelessness has increased across all measures since 2010, with many local authorities now seeing it as a risk to their financial sustainability'. “Homelessness in all its forms has significantly increased in recent years, driven by several factors. Despite this, government has not evaluated the impact of its reforms on this issue, and there remain gaps in its approach. It is difficult to understand why the Department persisted with its light touch approach in the face of such a visibly growing problem. Its recent performance in reducing homelessness therefore cannot be considered value for money”. Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, 13 September 2017.
- The Hidden Homelessness crisis...read article here.
- DisabledGo News. A benefits assessor who was caught on film mocking disabled claimants of personal independence payments and suggesting they were liars has been found guilty of misconduct by a professional standards tribunal....read more.
- App offers suicide prevention help and support to people in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. Read about 'The Stay Alive' app here, link to 2gether NHS Trust web site.
- Gloucestershire’s Annual Public Health Report (includes info on mental health) – link here
- The government has agreed to “reflect” on its failure to engage with disabled people and their organisations, after facing public criticism from a UN committee of disabled human rights experts...read here.
- Take a look at CGL's refreshed web site, July 2017.
Governments benefit cap on lone parents of under two's is unlawful, high court rules and has resulted in 'real damage'....'real misery to no good purpose' Read more go to DWP page.
- Disability News Service - Read how... 'Maria Lane is just the latest PIP claimant to come forward – following the launch of a DNS investigation earlier this year – to describe how healthcare professionals employed by Atos and fellow government contractor Capita have been guilty of widespread dishonesty in the reports they compile after carrying out face-to-face PIP assessments'. Read article here about Maria's inhumane treatment by the DWP.
- Rent Receipts…Concerns on reported failure of landlords to issue Rent Receipts, for accomodation utilised by the City Councils Homeless Team. Reports of individuals being evicted for alledged non-payment of rent and then have their duty ceased by the City Councils Homeless Team who are then said to find the individual ‘intentionally homeless’ even though there may not be any proof that rent has been paid or not. Members are concerned that people’s belongings can be just packed up by landlord's and put out on the street for anyone to take. Motion passed unanimously on the 21st June: That the Forum considers any failure to issue receipts for rent or asscociated service charges as unacceptable and a major concern and that this is followed up, to be investigated together with the City Council, as an urgent priority.
Good News. A new perinatal mental health service. Almost £1.5 million worth of funding is being dedicated to developing a new specialist mental health service for pregnant women and new mums in Gloucestershire. Go to MH&W page for more info.
- Government admits failing to record actions after benefit suicide inquiries...go to NEWS for more info. The government failed for more than three years to keep a record of what actions it took – if any – after carrying out secret reviews into the suicides of benefit claimants, Disability News Service (DNS) can reveal.
- Latest GCM Newsletter Issue 27.
- Voluntary Sector Update - May 2017. All the latest news, events and info from the Glos VCSAlliance.
- Rogue Landlords - Guilty landlord fined...read more here from Gloucester City Council, March 2017. May 2016, Overview & Scrutiny go on the offensive to combat unlicensed and poor H&S conditions in HMO's in Gloucester...read more here.
- Have you or a loved one had mental health issues? Martin Lewis's charity, the Money & Mental Health Policy Institute, is looking for people with this experience to join its community to help test ideas to change things for the better. Find how to join and/or watch a video about it. Related: MSE’s free Mental Health and Debt Help guide.
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. The independence of Healthwatch was critical.
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.