New Bristol rough sleeping service

People at risk of rough sleeping in Bristol are now able to access a new service based in Stokes Croft.

Somewhere Safe to Stay (SSTS) will provide a safe emergency space away from the street that is open and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for people at imminent risk of rough sleeping in Bristol.

The service has been up and running for two weeks and has already supported 17 people.

Complementing council-commissioned services currently run in the city – including the outreach team and emergency shelters – the SSTS will be supporting people who have no alternative but to sleep rough and, without this intervention, would end up rough sleeping.

This includes people leaving prison, people who have been evicted or those people who without an intervention are likely to end up sleeping rough. The service will work alongside the City Council’s Housing Option service assisting in fulfilling the duties of the Homelessness Reduction Act.

Somewhere Safe to Stay is a pilot run in partnership with St Mungo’s and Bristol City Council, funded by £648k from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

People will stay for up to seven days while specialist staff work on personal housing plans to prevent them sleeping rough. This could include private sector accommodation (with support if needed), supported accommodation, reconnection to their home town or mediating with friends and family. Referrals into the SSTS service will come from local agencies.

Cllr Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for housing, said: “We are committed to reducing rough sleeping in Bristol and we were pleased to be selected as one of 11 areas to trial the new Somewhere Safe to Stay Hubs. We hope the hub will become an integral part of the Bristol Shelter Programme, and support our No First Night Out Approach, helping us to more effectively deal with rough sleeping in the city.”

Adam Rees, Regional Director St Mungo’s West, said: “In partnership with Bristol City Council and others, we are already supporting huge numbers of people every year to come off the streets of Bristol. This new service will enable us to prevent people from the dangers of sleeping rough in the first place and support people at risk of ill health, abuse, violence and isolation. We believe no one should have to sleep rough and we know that with the right support at the right time people can and do recover from homelessness.”