Different people have different needs, so we operate a range of housing opportunities for our clients, from hostels to get people away from rough sleeping, through to supported and semi-independent housing. On any given night, we provide housing and support to around 2,700 people. We own 67 properties and lease others from a range of organisations and landlords.
Maintaining safe and secure properties is core to our recovery service ethos, which says that “as a client of St Mungo’s, we will work with you to ensure you have a safe place to live”.
We offer different accommodation depending on an individual’s support needs
For people who are sleeping rough, are particularly vulnerable or have critical support needs, we offer emergency and specialist services.
Emergency accommodation: we have emergency accommodation which is available to help people get off the streets immediately. We also use these spaces for people who need to quickly escape dangerous situations, such as domestic abuse. Throughout London and the south of England we also have extra housing provision for when adverse weather becomes particularly severe, such as snow, storms or sub-zero temperatures.
Specialist services: we offer specialist services to make sure we’re providing the right response to people’s individual needs. For example, our women’s accommodation in Bristol offers guest crash pads to help women who are experiencing or at risk of abuse in their homes. Similarly we also have services in Oxfordshire, Milton Keynes or Thurrock which offer accommodation to vulnerable young people.
Many of our clients need regular support, but are living in stable, longer term accommodation
Supported accommodation: this is a broad category of accommodation, as we offer support to people at varying levels. For example, we have dedicated staff on hand 24 hours a day at hostels such as Endell Street, Harrow Road and Endsleigh Gardens in London. These hostels provide a variety of services aimed at helping people with physical or mental health, substance use or other needs.
Some clients we work with have minimal needs but having safe and secure accommodation allows them the time and breathing space to get back on their feet.
Tenancy sustainment: we offer home visits – floating support – to people who need some support in their own homes. This lighter touch helps people get more used to living independently or semi-independently.
You can read more about the work of our Tenancy Sustainment Teams as part of our delivering services.
We also run other property services in partnership with councils and other organisations, aimed at getting people into accommodation to help them rebuild their lives.
A lack of affordable accommodation poses huge problems for people who are vulnerably housed, homeless or at risk of homelessness. Our social lettings agency, Real Lettings, guarantees the rent and takes on the management and maintenance of properties while making sure people are well settled in a secure environment. Our work with Real Lettings achieves cost effective and sustainable tenancies which prepare people for independent living.
Working with Resonance, we run the innovative Real Lettings Property Fund (RLPF). The RLPF buys flats in areas where people really need homes, then bring them up to a high standard of cleanliness, decoration and safety, for tenants to move in for two to three years.
Last year alone we bought 259 properties close to local amenities and transport. In a survey of our clients who live in Real Lettings properties, 87% of tenants said their property had had a positive impact on their support networks and relationships. 98% of all new Real Lettings tenancies continued for more than six months.
In Bristol, there has been a rise in the number of people sleeping rough who have very low support needs – they may simply be waiting for a private tenancy and actively seeking work already.
As part of the Rough Sleeping Partnership in Bristol, St Mungo’s has been working with Bristol City Council to bring closed buildings into use as temporary accommodation for people who have been rough sleeping. The properties are council owned former offices or community centres which are currently out of use, and are offered to St Mungo’s on a 12 month lease and management agreement.
Although clients typically have low needs, they can access our Recovery College and Bridge The Gap employment and training scheme to help improve their employment prospects. We provide practical support around managing their stay and also have PAL (Peer Advice Link) volunteers running drop in sessions for practical support with moving on, often into the private rented sector.
We currently have four Guardianship properties open and fully occupied, providing accommodation for 19 people. Overall, 40 people have been housed through this initiative, with 10 people moving into private rented accommodation following their stay and three moving in with family or friends.