Thames Reach Bondway has teamed up with other homelessness agencies to produce London’s Hostels for Homeless People in the 21st Century. This is a thorough review of the changes in the capital’s hostels since 1990 and the issues facing them in the future.
Published in 2005, the report dispels many of the myths associated with hostels, such as dormitories and curfews. The physical conditions of London’s hostels have vastly improved, with single rooms now the norm.
Hostel staff have also adapted to the changing support needs of the homeless population, providing education, skills training and structured activities as well as resettlement programmes.
The report sets out the challenges facing the sector and provides strategies for the next ten years. It identifies the need for:
- improved leadership to provide an effective response to the issues facing homeless people in London
- innovative approaches to increase the range of available permanent accommodation for hostel residents
- targeting the most vulnerable people by developing staff skills and working alongside mental health and substance misuse professionals
- developing more specialist support in response to the changing needs of single homeless people
- more hostels in outer London
- working closely with local authorities and others to reduce ill health, benefit dependency, addiction and exclusion and to help people into training, education and employment
The research was commissioned by The Pan London Providers Group, comprising the chief executives of the seven largest voluntary sector providers of homelessness services in the capital. It was undertaken by the University of Sheffield’s Homeless Programme Team.
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