The council has received £622,000 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to offer vulnerable homeless people a bed, wraparound support and help into settled, permanent accommodation. This is on top of existing short-term emergency shelters.
As London’s first year-round homelessness hub south of the Thames, the hub will be staffed by the council’s Gateway service and partners in the voluntary and public sector. It will open by late autumn at a central Croydon location to be confirmed.
The hub will provide:
• Secure sleeping quarters for up to around 10 people for 72 hours, including a private room
• Same-day assessments and referrals
• One-to-one case workers helping rough sleepers to navigate the process of getting a home
• Help into supported accommodation or a private tenancy offered through Croydon Lettings
• Mental and physical health referrals, including for those with drug and alcohol problems
• Financial and budgeting support, plus help finding a job or training
• Specialist workers to support people leaving prison and hospital
• A base for every organisation that works on homelessness prevention in Croydon
The initiative expands on the existing help given to rough sleepers in the borough. This includes council-funded supported accommodation for single homeless people, cold weather support via the Croydon Churches Floating Shelter and an emergency winter shelter run by Croydon Council with Crystal Palace Football Club.
This year the council’s Gateway service has placed vulnerable rough sleepers in 10 one-bedroom flats under the principles of Housing First, which offers long-term accommodation to homeless people with specialist wraparound support. The council also has Government funding to deliver Housing First for another 10 chronic rough sleepers by spring 2020.
Councillor Alison Butler, Croydon Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services, said: “Nothing is more important than having a home because it boosts your health, finances, job prospects and quality of life, so this funding is important for the council’s plans to tackle and prevent homelessness in the borough with local specialist organisations.
“Opening south London’s first 24-hour base offering long-term solutions to homelessness will allow Croydon Council and our partners to help rough sleepers stay off the streets for good and deliver results for people in real need.”