Follow-up support and health and wellbeing plan to prevent repeated homelessness in Nottinghamshire

More support is planned for homeless people in Nottinghamshire who are suffering health problems to try to reduce the number of people sleeping rough repeatedly.

By Andrew Topping
Sunday, 24th July 2022, 8:50 am
Updated Sunday, 24th July 2022, 8:50 am

Nottinghamshire Council will improve a contract it holds to support people out of homelessness, with plans revealed to significantly increase the help and guidance it offers.

Figures show the existing contract, which offers accommodation to single adults and help with accessing benefits and setting up housing, has found a ‘substantial need’ for the service.

The contract, which includes short-term hostel programmes and 12-month ‘move-on’ support, has the capacity for 63 short-term tenants and a further 175 ‘move-on’ residents.

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Nottinghamshire Council will improve a contract it holds to support people out of homelessness

In 2021, the provider supported 393 people across the hostels and 271 people in its longer-term programmes.

When people use the service, existing providers create support plans, offer help with debts, refer residents to services to deal with any addiction problems and ensure their eventual exit is planned.

A review found about 80 per cent of people using the service have a mental health support need, while more than 60 per cent need support applying for housing.

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Now the council is planning to alter the way the service is provided to address new concerns since the initial contract was drawn up in 2018.

Major changes, which will come into effect from April 2023, will see support and liaison increased with district council housing teams to progress residents’ housing applications.

Further support will be offered with accessing benefits, skills and training courses for independent living, and accessing employment.

In a report, Jonathan Gribbin, Nottinghamshire director for public health, said: “The service supports the needs of a vulnerable population that experience significant disparities in health, as well as other types of disadvantages that require additional input from a range of professionals.

“The intention is to be able to identify health and care needs of those experiencing homelessness earlier.

“For many people, the need for some level of support continues after they have secured their own tenancy.

“Therefore, this will aim to add an element of floating support to follow people through.

An additional £78,000 will be added to the project’s budget, which now stands at £1 million per year, to address inflation and provide follow-up support after people leave the service.