How Thames Reach are preventing homelessness in the community this winter
Area manager, Zandi Zungu, talks us through how Thames Reach are actively preventing homelessness in the community this winter
Thames Reach’s mission is to help homeless, vulnerable people to find decent homes, build supportive relationships and lead fulfilling lives. The work of our Prevention teams are a key part of our strategy to encourage client independence through the support of rough sleepers, or individuals in temporary accommodation. Area Manager for Prevention, Zandi Zungu, talks us through Thames Reach’s prevention offer, consisting of a wide range of different services which centre around providing skills, employment or accommodation with the aim of preventing homelessness.
Our Peer Landlord scheme will undergo an expansion in Hackney as we will be providing supportive accommodation to individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Peer Landlord will be offering accommodation to people who are working, and in a new aspect of the scheme, we will offer rooms to individuals whom have no recourse to public funds.
Within our Greenwich Private Rented Sector (“PRS”) scheme, we have successfully housed 64 individuals in private accommodation over the last year across several London boroughs. The scheme has a tenancy sustainment rate of 82%.
The Sustaining Tenancies Accommodation & Resettlement Team (“STAR”), works in partnership with Shelter, St. Mungo’s and Stonewall Housing to prevent homelessness across London by supporting people with complex needs to get and keep a home, find employment, build their skills and improve their mental health. Recently, the STAR team has responded to concentrations of rough sleepers previously inaccessible due to lockdown. As a result of this work, there has been an increase in the number of service users assisted by the team.
Within the Central European Homeless Assistance Service, (“CEHAS”), we work with rough sleepers within the six North London boroughs to access employment and training including those who might have additional support needs. A key part of this is helping people regularise their status, particularly where they have a history of working in the UK. Presently, we have helped 17 clients achieve full settled status, and obtain Universal Credit, thus leading them closer to employment.
Located in Lewisham, Deptford Reach is our day centre within our Prevention offer. At Deptford Reach, we provide case management, health services, mental health support, and social engagement activities to people who are vulnerably housed.
The Employment & Skills team at Thames Reach provides basic skills, digital skills, work readiness support, job opportunities, and in work-support to individuals who have a history of rough sleeping, or are currently living in hostels. Throughout the lockdown, the Employment & Skills team has redefined their delivery model to engage with the most socially isolated and vulnerable service users.