More Than 860 People Helped By Salvation Army And Coventry City Council Scheme To Help People Who Are Homeless Get Back On Their Feet

published on 25 Nov 2014

More than 860 people have been helped six months on since the launch of an innovative new scheme to get people who are homeless or ex-offenders back on their feet.

Coventry City Council awarded The Salvation Army with a city-wide contract to provide the support which saw the Army facilitating the provision of supported accommodation and floating support across the city.

Nathan Slinn, Regional Manager for The Salvation Army, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to engage with so many people and offer opportunity for them to move forward in their individual circumstances. We have been working with Coventry City Council on this exciting scheme to tackle homelessness in the city. 

“People are at the centre of everything we do, and we believe in people when they may not believe in themselves.

“Our floating support services are tailored to support individual needs and we want to eradicate the revolving door of homelessness. As such our floating support services create tailored packages to help people sustain their own tenancy and achieve the best they can in life through employment and independence.

“The Salvation Army is dedicated to caring for people who are vulnerable or in need by offering practical help, a listening ear, and compassionate support.

“We aim to ensure that through this scheme people are always given a warm and friendly welcome at any of our centres in Coventry with the support they need to get back on their feet.”

Mary, a resident at one Salvation Army centre for people who are homeless, Harnall Lifehouse in Harnall Lane West, said: “A lot of people would be homeless and in a lot worse situations without this support. A lot of people have got personal issues, abuse issues, which would go OTT without the support and help that they get from the staff.

“I probably would have gone off the wall with my anxiety and wouldn’t have had anywhere to stay.

“Thanks to The Salvation Army and the Lifehouse - it has kept me grounded and with the support of the staff hopefully I will then be able to move on to my own accommodation in a positive way.”

Councillor Faye Abbott, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Development, Co-Operatives and Social Enterprise, said: “The contract with the Salvation Army is clearly having an impact thanks to their expertise, ethos and track record of excellence in supporting homeless people.

“Shorter tenancies with long-term support are working well but we will not get complacent. We will continue to work closely together to monitor and develop the contract over the next five years of this contract.”

The scheme sees people offered supported accommodation for four months before they are moved on to accommodation appropriate to their needs with floating support provision. The support is tailored to the individual and changed over time as they become more independent.

In the past, 220 beds for single homeless people were offered and many providers offered two year placements, but it is felt the shorter stays help people get back on their feet quicker with floating support assisting within independent living.

There is also an outreach programme included as part of the scheme, with people going out on regular walks around the town with a focus on where homeless people congregate, with the aim of engaging people, getting them off the street and into supported accommodation. And as part of our contract with Coventry City Council, The Salvation Army offers support for families who are homeless and in temporary accommodation with support delivered to help them move back into independence.

listen to ‘Interviewed with Mary - A resident at Harnall Lifehouse’ on audioBoom