Starting a conversation on Starts at Home Day
31 August 2023
On Friday 1 September 2023, we will be taking part in Starts at Home Day, a campaign organised by the National Housing Federation to shine a spotlight on the vital difference that supported housing makes to thousands of people on a daily basis.
It is estimated that over 300,000 people in the UK are homeless, with nearly half of them being children, and if it wasn’t for supported housing, a further 41,000 people would be impacted.
Every person has the right to live in an accommodation that is safe and gives them the opportunity to develop their independent living skills and have a better future. With our support services covering a wide range of Customers from young people & care leavers to those impacted by homelessness, we are taking part by celebrating the achievements of our support services and sharing our plans for the future.
Katie Procter, Head of Supported Housing, talks about the work that has been done in the past year and the milestones that many of our supported services have achieved.
Milestones over the past year
The aim of our supported services is to create innovative solutions that improve the health, well-being, and long-term prospects of homeless people and those at risk of homelessness. Whether it be through developing their independent living skills or supporting their mental and physical well-being, our team is dedicated to enhancing the lives of those no matter their backgrounds and past experiences.
This commitment to support has seen many of our services celebrate some special milestones over the past year, with our Millbank Wellbeing Centre, Preston, turning 30 and our Young Parents Pathway service, based in South Tyneside, celebrating its 20th Anniversary.
I was able to speak to a young couple who had previously been in and out of different supported housing services for most of their life, but since moving to our services, they said that they had progressed more in the first 3 months than in the previous 3 years. They felt that Places for People provided a proper home where they felt safe, and our team treated them with respect and care. Such positive feedback from our Customers really shows the impact we have on the lives of those who have experienced struggles in their past and want to live better lives.
We have also put frameworks in place in a variety of locations to continue to support individuals and families who have experienced homelessness. Working closely with Nottingham County Council, we are set to open a specialist service in the area in October, whilst we are bringing together a cost-of-living and community infrastructure project targeting vulnerable customers and communities faced with financial challenges.
To continue to provide high-quality support to vulnerable people, we are currently working to become Ofsted registered in our Young Person services. The registration will allow us to continue to play a vital role in the development of the young person's journey and give them every opportunity to learn valuable skills for a better independent future.
We are also working with The Hill Group, an award-winning housebuilder, on the development of eight SoloHaus homes that will help tackle homelessness in Bristol.
Designed to provide follow-on temporary accommodation for people who have experienced homelessness, the purpose-built modular homes will be handed over to Places for People in September.
This will be an important step in supporting those impacted by homelessness in the area and we will continue to work in partnership with contractors and the council in the development of these homes.
At Salford Foyer, our temporary accommodation service for homeless young people, we have recently secured £115,000 in capital funding from LandAid which will be used to support the development of six brand-new modular homes with enough space for a young person and a baby or young child.
More to come
We are proud of the work we do to help change the lives of the people we support; however, we understand that a lot of work is still to be done. We are calling on local councils and the government to provide their support through the delivery of a long-term housing plan to help tackle the very real issue of homelessness. We will be looking to personally invite local MPs to our services and showcase the work we do, whilst also having an honest discussion about the improvements we can make.
We will continue to provide support and safe accommodation to people and for Starts at Home Day, we will start a conversation about the positive impact supported housing has on the community and the lives of people.