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.”
Notes to Editors
About the Somewhere Safe to Stay services
In December the government announced £5m for new network of rough sleeping hubs and released detail of 11 pilot Somewhere Safe to Stay pilot services.
The services were announced as part of the first year of the Rough Sleeping Initiative, launched in March 2018, which is providing £64 million to over 80 councils over the next 2 years to support rough sleepers in their area.
This, in turn, is part of the government’s wider £100m Rough Sleeping Strategy announced in August 2018.
The model was recommended by experts on the government’s Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel and is based on the London-based No Second Night Out Programme which consistently helps the capital’s rough sleepers away from the streets.
How to help someone who is homeless in Bristol
Further information about the help available for anyone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless is available at the council’s website at http://www.bristol.gov.uk/homeless and the recently launched Homeless Connect website https://bristolhomelessconnect.com/
If you are concerned about someone who is rough sleeping, any member of the public can make a referral via Streetlink.org.uk
The four charities that provide night shelters to support people who are rough sleeping have come together to set up a single, online crowdfunding appeal that offers people the chance to donate a specific sum – £17 – to provide one bed for one night for a homeless person. https://www.fundsurfer.com/project/bristol-rough-sleeping-partnership
About St Mungo’s
St Mungo’s is one of the UK’s leading homelessness charities and exists to end homelessness and rebuild lives. Each night the charity provides housing and support to 2,800 people across London and the South and helps thousands of others with advice, health, skills and work services. We run 23 projects in Bristol.
The cause and consequences of homelessness are complex. In order to meet the challenges in Bristol St Mungo’s has a wide ranging network of projects from outreach, support in the community, mental health support, hostel accommodation, Recovery College and The Guardianship Scheme.
We also ran the 24-hour shelter at St Anne’s, which supported people during the winter.