Press Release 09.02.2017
February 9th, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Homeless Charity Depaul supports over 75% of people in its Housing First Programme to exit homelessness in 2016
Depaul, a charity which supports people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, has said it has supported 75% of the people it works with through its Housing First programme to exit homelessness in 2016, and over 40% of people it works with to directly move out of rough sleeping with its extension of the programme, Street to Home.
Depaul launched its innovative Housing First programme in 2014 in Belfast, and rolled it out in Derry in 2015. The aim of the Housing First programme is to support people who are homeless with complex needs to move into permanent housing from a range of temporary accommodation sources. Once they find a new home, the Housing First team works to coordinate appropriate supports around the individual so that they can remain in their own home. The programme has been shortlisted for a 2017 UK Housing Award for “an outstanding approach to tackling homelessness” in Northern Ireland.
In autumn 2016 Depaul piloted an extension of the programme to directly support people sleeping rough on the streets of Belfast, entitled Housing First Street to Home. The Street to Home service provides support and accommodation to a core group of regular rough sleepers in the Belfast area, taking them directly from the street into their own homes, where they are offered tailored support to help them to sustain their tenancies.
The Street to Home service is a collaborative project in conjunction with the Welcome Organisation and a number of agencies in Northern Ireland working in the areas of health, housing, community outreach, policing and community safety. The service pilot followed on from a Street Needs Audit carried out by Depaul, the Welcome Organisation and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, to understand which individuals are most in need of support on the streets of Belfast. The service has achieved a 40% success rate since its inception.
Ms. Kerry Anthony, CEO of Depaul, said: “The high success rate of our Housing First programme shows that the model works and so we were delighted to pilot its extension, Street to Home, which has also already supported a number of people towards exiting homelessness. However, while we are very happy with the success of such programmes in directly helping those experiencing homelessness, there is much more work to be done to help people who are homeless. It is critical to ensure that solutions which prevent homelessness, such as safety nets for vulnerable people and affordable social housing, are not forgotten and are implemented. This is particularly important in what may be an upcoming time of uncertainty in Northern Ireland, when vulnerable groups may be at greater risk”.
Ms. Kerry Anthony, MBE, CEO of Depaul, is available for interviews on request.
Media and Communications Officer
Tel: + 353 1 453 7111
Mob: +353 86 383 2198
Notes to the Editor
- Depaul was established in 2002 and supports people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We manage over 20 specialised services in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and provide accommodation and vital services to those most in need including: families, people with acute addictions, migrants, people with mental health issues and women leaving the criminal justice system. In 2016 alone, Depaul supported over 3,500 people. For further information, please visit https://ni.depaulcharity.org/
- Information on Depaul’s Housing First approach in Belfast and Derry can be found at: https://ie.depaulcharity.org/housing-first-belfast and https://ie.depaulcharity.org/housing-first-derry
- The UK Housing Awards, jointly organised by Inside Housing and the Chartered Institute of Housing, are widely recognised as the leading awards in the sector. Attracting 700+ of the sectors key leaders, the event serves to highlight the organisations, individuals and projects that are leading the way in affordable housing. Winners will be announced at a black tie ceremony, taking place on the evening of Wednesday 26 April at the Lancaster London hotel. For more information please visit: https://ukha.secure-platform.com/a/page/ukha.
- Depaul supported over forty individuals to access long term accommodation in 2016 through its Housing First programme, and over 30 of those have successfully sustained their tenancies through the programme
- Housing First pilot service Street to Home has supported 3 out of 7 individuals it worked with in 2016 out of rough sleeping, with 2 of those individuals sustaining tenancies in permanent accommodation
- The average number of rough sleepers in Belfast was identified by the Street Needs Audit as 6 per night
- The Street Needs Audit report can be found at: http://www.nihe.gov.uk/belfast_street_needs_audit.pdf