Last month, we were named the lead organisation for the Homelessness Housing Related Support Services, a contract commissioned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council. We will lead a consortium of partners including Adullam Homes Housing Association, North Staffs Mind, Changes: Health and Wellbeing and WALK Ministries.
Launching on 1 October 2020 this exciting partnership will provide a unique service for people across the city in housing crisis and play a key role in delivering outcomes against the city council’s recently revised Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy.
We are a charity on a mission to erase homelessness through a community-led approach to help those without a plan and without a home build concrete futures by tackling the underlying issues that keep people from finding and securing a home of their own.
The partner organisations will together deliver Destination: Home, a 24/7 support service that will help our customers not just survive, but thrive in their homes through a bespoke, seamless, long-term recovery solution that addresses the underlying issues of homelessness.
Destination: Home is a pioneering and innovative service that moulds itself around each individual customer, the team will match people with a service coordinator who will go on the whole journey with that person and provide support and help with their specific and unique needs.
Everything from quality accommodation, mental health support, tenancy skills support, peer-led support from those with real lived experience, recovery and rehab programmes and job training and recruitment support will be offered if and when needed.
This local movement of like-minded organisations is coming together to change the present and the futures of those across our city who need it most – to make safe, secure and supported housing a right, not a privilege and erase homelessness in our community for good.
Diane Thompson, chief executive of Honeycomb Group, said “We are really pleased to be continuing our work with Stoke-on-Trent City Council to deliver vital services. This is a great opportunity for Concrete, in partnership with the City Council and our fantastic local providers, to have a real impact across the City. By working to support local people to get the right housing and support for their needs we will together make lasting change.”
Sarah Forshaw, head of homelessness, housing and complex needs at Concrete adds: “What has been created is very exciting for us, we need to tackle the root causes of homelessness in order to build concrete futures. Our work with our partners will bring about a movement of both prevention and support that works with people throughout their journey to ensure they can live happily, safely and for the long term in a home of their own.”
Councillor Abi Brown, leader of the city council and cabinet member said: “We are pleased to award this contract to Concrete following a very competitive tendering process. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic a lot of hard work has taken place with partners to support homeless people off the streets and into the support they need to help them to move on with their lives. We’re committed to ensuring this work continues and Concrete and other partners will have a significant role to play in this. We understand that people who are homeless often have other complex issues that also need addressing, and so Concrete’s approach is important in providing tailored services to provide support that matches people’s needs.”
Alison Sargent, Chief Executive of Adullam Houses Housing Association (AHHA) adds: “AHHA is delighted to work with like-minded partners who share the desire to innovate and deliver services that make a difference to people’s lives.
By working in partnership to provide holistic support, mental health providers, third sector organisations and housing associations can deliver more successful outcomes. Through the design of bespoke coordinated plans for the individual we will create hope and transform lives for the long term.”
For interim CEO of North Staffs Mind Kate Boundy she believes that our mental health can be severely affected by our housing situation, “We are really excited to be part of this new partnership which we believe will make a genuine difference to the lives of local people at a particularly challenging time of their lives.”
Dave Wheat, CEO of Changes agrees that mental health issues are both the cause and consequence of homelessness, “For Changes therefore we believe that a return to wellbeing is a prerequisite to any journey towards stable accommodation and social inclusion. We are delighted to be providing Changes recovery programme and peer-support groups within Concrete’s service and to be able to support their mission to erase homelessness within Stoke on Trent”.
Founder of WALK ministries Simon Edwards said: “It’s a joy to be part of a wider team in the city that have the heart to not only see real change in people’s life’s but are prepared to go on the longer journey too.
Many people, myself included, don’t get it all in one change. And that’s what is unique about this partnership – there is more than one way of supporting people, making it a holistic approach and not an outcome-based approach.”
We’re dedicated to making sure everyone understands the real risk of homelessness and knows what to do and where to go when things get tough. This service will go beyond the streets and into neighbourhoods, the homes and the heart of the community to make stable, secure housing a right and not a privilege to make homelessness history.