Thames Reach project has helped hundreds of long-term rough sleepers to escape
Reach Ace project, which was set up in autumn 2012, was tasked with helping 415
named people with a long history of sleeping rough in the capital – a
remarkable 369 or 89% of them have now moved away from the streets.
moved into private rented accommodation, others are in hostels for the homeless
and many have been reconnected back to their homes where they have been linked
in with their families and services.
is based on a groundbreaking model of funding involving payment by results and
social investors putting up large parts of the money to meet running costs.
was commissioned by the Greater London Authority as a Social Impact Bond, has
attracted investment from a number of sources including a £250,000 loan from
Big Issue Invest.
Thames Reach Ace service is staffed by ‘personal navigators’ who engage with
the homeless men and women and negotiate on their behalf with support agencies.
is coming to an end on October 31 2015 but Thames Reach staff will continue to
support those with the highest support needs and at risk of losing their
spent nearly 20 years sleeping rough on London’s streets, struggling with an
addiction to super-strength lagers, heroin and crack cocaine.
charities offered support to Tam, helping him into a rehabilitation centre, but
Ace’s Dean Tucker got in touch with him after he had relapsed and returned to
Dean, a personal
navigator, set things in motion for Tam to get the support and help he needed for
his drink and drug problem.
“I first met him after joining an outreach shift having heard concerns from
charity workers at the charity Turning Point around Tam’s physical health due
to the damage alcohol was doing to his system. When we met he was completely
intoxicated and unable to stand up.
to help him walk across the capital to hostel accommodation we had organised
and then secure funding for a detox and another spell in rehabilitation.”
“I’ve been clean now for 20 months. Dean became part of my life during my
recovery and he still does things for me.”
Tam is now
living in a project for people who formerly had substance misuse issues in
Newcastle. Most encouragingly, he is back in touch with his family,
including his daughter Jessica who lives in the city and who he hadn’t seen for
20 years, and his granddaughter Skye, who he had never met.
to be reconnected with my family. My daughter Jessica welcomed me with open arms
and gave me the chance to be a father again.”