Croydon council to open year-round homeless hub

The Old Town Hall, Croydon. Credit: Tadie88 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Croydon Council has successfully bid for funding to open a hub for rough sleepers which will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has given the council £622,000 to launch the hub, which will offer homeless people beds, support and guidance to help them find permanent accommodation.

The hub, which will be London’s first year-round homeless hub south of the Thames, is set to open by late autumn in central Croydon, and will support existing short-term emergency shelters.

Cllr Alison Butler, deputy leader of Croydon Council and cabinet member for homes and gateway services, said: ‘Nothing is more important than having a home because it boosts your health, finances, job prospects and quality of life, so this funding is important for the council’s plans to tackle and prevent homelessness in the borough with local specialist organisations.

‘Opening south London’s first 24-hour base offering long-term solutions to homelessness will allow Croydon Council and our partners to help rough sleepers stay off the streets for good and deliver results for people in real need.’

Croydon’s new homeless hub is set to be staffed by members of the council’s gateway services, while it will also provide a base for the council’s homelessness prevention partners in the public and voluntary sector.

The hub will provide secure sleeping quarters for around 10 people for up to three days at a time, as well as same day assessments and referrals to mental and physical health services.

Other services the hub will offer the homeless include one-to-one case-workers to help rough sleepers into supported accommodation or private tenancies, financial and employment support, and specialist services to assist people who have just left prison or hospital.

The hub will build on the existing help Croydon Council offers rough sleepers in the borough, such as supported accommodation for single homeless people and an emergency winter shelter operated in partnership with Crystal Palace Football Club.

This year the council has already placed 10 vulnerable rough sleepers into long-term accommodation via its Housing First scheme, which it has the funding to continue delivering until spring 2020.

According to a recent Crisis and Joseph Roundtree Foundation report, local councils are facing a growing need for their homelessness services with seven out of 10 reporting a rise in demand in the last year.


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