Cardiff MP, Stephen Doughty opens flagship ‘floating’ service to halt homelessness

published on 11 Oct 2017

After cutting a ceremonial ribbon at the project’s headquarters, the Cardiff South and Penarth MP heard how the new service from The Salvation Army – in partnership with United Welsh - prevents individuals and families from becoming homeless; through a 12 week, tailored support package encompassing everything from financial management to mental health and wellbeing.

Working together with the housing association, United Welsh, to deliver the service, which is funded by the Welsh Government’s Supporting People programme, The Salvation Army’s Floating Support also aims to connect vulnerable people with the services they need to live independently in their communities and links them to wider networks, such as community drop-ins or parents and tots groups. This is done through a person-centred approach to assessing individual needs, giving tailored support to people who are at high risk of losing their homes.

Stephen Doughty commented:
“The work that The Salvation Army and United Welsh are doing is truly commendable and it is fantastic to see two brilliant organisations working together to protect vulnerable people.

“The Floating Support Service is not a last resort, but a true prevention service, helping people stay in both their homes and communities in Cardiff - which truly complements the agenda to tackle homelessness and housing concerns being pursued by the Welsh Government and Cardiff Council.

“Homelessness is a complex and challenging issue, cutting across not only housing policy but also with the impact of welfare reform, mental health and financial services - and so it is vital that preventative holistic services such as these are encouraged. I fully support the brilliant work that The Salvation Army and United Welsh are doing.”

The Salvation Army will also deliver additional drop in's for individuals and families across the city as part of its wider community work aimed at preventing homelessness and sustaining communities.  Local residents will be able to access advice, whether they have come through the 12 week programme or just need support.

The Salvation Army’s Deputy Territorial Director for Homelessness Services, Howard Russell said:  

“The Salvation Army has always provided practical support with the aim of empowering people. All too often, the people we journey with have lost hope and have become disconnected from society and support networks. Floating Support closes that gap because it enables us to provide tailored support for individuals and families who may be at high risk of becoming homeless. This intervention allows us to provide vital support that helps build resilience which in turn leads to sustained tenancies and stronger communities.”

The Salvation Army was awarded the prime contract in partnership with United Welsh to deliver Floating Support to over 300 units (which could comprise individuals or families) in Cardiff in April 2017.

The church and charity already provides specific homelessness services across all regions of the country, helping over 8,000 people facing homelessness each year.  Now The Salvation Army’s new early intervention service paves the way for a wider national service to tackle homelessness by preventing it in the first place.

Group Chief Executive of United Welsh Lynda Sagona said:

“We are very pleased to be working in partnership with The Salvation Army to deliver this much needed service in Cardiff which is helping to prevent vulnerable people from becoming homeless. It is incredibly important that we do all we can to offer this focussed level of support so that people can remain in their homes and look forward to a more secure future.”

The Salvation Army is a church and charity dedicated to caring for people who are vulnerable or in need.  Salvation Army churches are at the heart of the local communities they serve and provide compassionate support, practical help and a warm welcome to anyone visiting them.

The Walker Road Salvation Army Community Centre is situated at 13 Walker Road, Cardiff CF24 2EG. The centre houses a church, café and charity shop and runs various groups for the local community.

The Walker Road Community Café was opened by ‘Grub in a Tub’, a social enterprise run by residents of the Salvation Army’s Ty Gobaith Lifehouse (hostel) for men and women experiencing homelessness.