When people sleeping rough are helped off the streets, they are often given a room in a hostel, where they can also benefit from the vital support that specialist staff can offer.
Graham House in Lambeth is Thames Reach’s largest hostel for rough sleepers, housing up to 69 residents. Its support workers help people with a wide range of complex needs, including drug and alcohol problems, poor mental health and challenging behaviour.
People who have slept rough for a long time, or who have a complexity of needs sometimes find it hard to make the transition into a new home. Graham House provides a safe and supportive step, where people can address their primary support needs and get used to living indoors.
An innovative scheme also sees psychologists based at the hostel. The Psychology in Hostels project, run in partnership by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and Thames Reach, provides access to therapies that homeless people often miss out on because of their potentially chaotic lifestyles. It helps the hostel residents to become more self-reliant and independent, and to improve their physical, emotional, and mental health. The hostel also has nurses operating at the site and a GP surgery twice a week.
Thames Reach staff arrange many activities and social events from film nights to reading groups, and many residents express their satisfaction at their temporary, but welcoming new home. Residents get to have their say on the services being offered and are encouraged to get involved.
A new hostel is currently being built set to replace Graham House in the summer of 2018. It will offer a mixture of larger hostel bed spaces and self-contained flats.
When residents are ready, they have the option of moving on to a supported housing scheme linked to Graham House.
Brixton Hill provides supported, safe accommodation to homeless men who have a history of drug or alcohol use. It houses seven men in self-contained flats, sharing kitchens and bathrooms. Residents also have access to common areas that include a garden.
Staff work closely with residents to address key issues that may hinder their progression. Through personalised support plans tailored to individuals’ needs, residents are encouraged to undertake constructive activities such as education or training and engage with drug rehabilitation services. Residents are expected to maintain a clean living environment and treat other residents with respect.
Help Thames Reach provide wide-ranging support to hostel residents