Pop-up pods help to tackle homelessness in Sheffield
published on 29 Apr 2022
Pop-up accommodation to house entrenched rough sleepers is helping tackle homelessness in Sheffield.
Each sleeping ‘pod’ provides a bed, chemical toilet and charging facilities. They are aimed at helping people who have been sleeping on the streets and have complex needs so may struggle in hostel style accommodation.
As part of a pilot scheme, The Salvation Army has provided two pods, made by Amazing Grace Spaces, with Sheffield City Council providing support to the clients to help them move into more permanent accommodation.
The Salvation Army runs two Lifehouses (supported accommodation for people who are homeless) in Sheffield - Charter Row, which houses up 57 single men and Lincoln Court, which houses 11 women in the city.
Salvation Army service manager Andy Parkinson, who manages both Charter Row and Lincoln Court, said: “This style of accommodation is aimed at people who are not quite ready to come off the streets. They may have more complex needs such as mental health issues, offending history or addiction, which means they are not as well suited to a communal environment such as a hostel or they may have been excluded from services due to previous behaviour.
“The pods provide a warm, dry and safe place for people to sleep, while support from The Salvation Army and the Council is helping to tackle some of the reasons why they may have become homeless in the first place, such as poor mental health, addiction, job loss or relationship breakdown.
“In just a couple of months, we have seen a real difference in the two clients who have been placed in them. They are more engaged with mental health and housing services. One has now been offered a flat, and the other has been referred into long-term supported housing.”
One client, Chico* who had been sleeping on the streets for just over a year, said: “It’s stopped me from being cold, it’s basically kept me and helped me find myself again.
“Because of this I’m actually now getting my own flat. I’m hoping to get back to trying to have a normal life.
“They should have thousands more of these pods as they would help a lot of people.”
Andy added: “The Salvation Army is always looking for new and innovative ideas to improve the services that we provide for people, especially for vulnerable rough sleepers. This has been a really positive project. The great thing about them is the flexibility, they can be moved to a different part of the city, they can go where the need is. We want to develop this project and broaden The Salvation Army’s offer across the city so we can help more people get off the streets and get the support they so desperately need.”
*not his real name