A new hub offering shelter to rough sleepers has opened in Willesden as part of Brent’s commitment to tackle homelessness.
The hub is one of two new services run by St Mungo’s, funded by a £359,000 grant from the nationwide Rough Sleeper Initiative.
The hub can house up to 11 people at a time, with two bed spaces set aside for women. People who use the service may be those who are sleeping on the streets, those due for discharge from hospital but have nowhere to go, those coming out of prison or those with no access to public funds a need temporary support while their longer term options are assessed.
Every person who uses the hub will be assessed within 72 hours, with the idea that they will move on from the hub after eight weeks maximum.
The grant also supports six flats to house single people with a history of rough sleeping, run by St Mungo’s, and a social worker, employed by Brent Council, due to start at the end of November 2018.
The six flats have been allocated to people who may have experienced a mix of poor mental and physical health, alcohol and drug problems, and childhood trauma.
People in these six flats will be given a 12-month introductory tenancy that could be extended to five years. The properties provide long term safe and stable accommodation for people in homelessness recovery.
The social worker will work closely with the Brent outreach team, meet people sleeping rough and offering mental health assessments. They will also work one day a week in Brent Civic Centre, offering mental health support and advice to single homeless people.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: “We are pleased to be working with St Mungo’s to offer these new services – which have already helped nine people off the streets.
“The flats and the hub are providing practical ways to help rough sleepers in Brent and support people who find themselves without a roof over their head to improve their health and long term opportunities.”