Sheffield’s Coronavirus Community Support Helpline has reached a major milestone after taking is 20,000th call since opening in March last year.
A ‘Safe Place’ for the night
A new approach to ending rough sleeping and preventing the risk of people rough sleeping in Sheffield is being piloted with a new scheme.
Called ‘Safe Place’, the scheme will work to end rough sleeping and provide better options for those who do sleep rough, which is a priority for the city.
Safe Place is an assessment hub to prevent rough sleeping and the people who use it will be provided with rapid next day assessments, move on plans and access to advice and assistance.
Wherever possible they will be supported to return home, but if this isn’t a suitable option, support workers will help people to find accommodation, working together with partner agencies and specialist services to access support and prevent people returning to the streets.
The pilot is a collaboration between Sheffield city council, the Cathedral Archer Project, St Wilfrid’s Centre, Framework street outreach team and Ben’s Centre coming together to try this approach.
People who have been sleeping rough will be staying at the Cathedral Archer Project and St Wilfrid’s Centre (dividing the time between the two venues) between the 25th March to the 18th April. The Safe Place will accommodate up to 8 people overnight. Framework’s Street outreach will engage with people sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough to help them access the Safe Place. The Council’s Rough Sleeping Initiative Team will provide the next day assessment and advice, co-producing personal plans to help people with their housing, benefits, health and wellbeing. Staff and volunteers will welcome guests to the hub in the evening and help serve breakfast the next morning.
Although the Safe Place is open for a limited period, it will help test the assessment hub approach and plan services going forward, in particular the help that can be given during the winter months.
Janet Sharpe, Director of Housing and Neighbourhood Services said: “We have a wealth of fantastic services in Sheffield that are committed to working together to help people move on from the streets and get the help they need as quickly as possible. Help us Help, which is run by local charities, the council, a residents group and other services provides up to date information to the public about how best to support people who find themselves begging or sleeping rough and will also be supporting and promoting Safe Place.
“It will be interesting to see how the pilot goes and we hope that it goes very well. We hope too, that the government funding which is making the pilot possible will continue once the pilot ends.”
Tim Renshaw, Chief Executive of The Cathedral Archer Project said: "It's important to us that any service like this is progressive and that we see people get the support needed to leave the street forever."
Wayne Hoyle, Director of St Wilfrid's Centre added: "For nearly 30 years, St Wilfrid's Centre has been helping vulnerable adults across the city and this has always included providing support to rough sleepers. Whether it's just a shower and a hot meal or longer term work, we are committed to helping people when they need us. We therefore welcome this initiative from the city council and are delighted to be working in partnership with the Cathedral Archer Project and others to initially provide a safe place whilst then working collaboratively on finding longer term solutions."
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