Southwark homeless support goes mobile


The service provides specialist care and support for rough sleepers struggling with drug and alcohol addiction

A new support service for homeless people struggling with drug or alcohol problems is opening in Southwark.

Change Grow Live, which already runs two support centres in Camberwell, is running this new service with teams mobile across the borough as part of a nationwide scheme that will see eighteen new services launched.

The service, which launched last Monday, April 19, provides specialist care and support for rough sleepers struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

Funding comes from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, supported by Public Health England as part of a two-year programme to help rough sleepers with drug and alcohol dependency.

Seven of the new services are in London – in Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, Ealing, Newham, Barnet and Westminster as well as Southwark.

Lesley Howard, National Homelessness Lead at Change Grow Live, said: “The opening of 18 new specialist outreach services across England is a landmark moment.  Each service will help us to provide effective, evidence-based support for people struggling with homelessness and substance misuse.

“130 new specialist staff working pro-actively across England will increase the visibility of substance misuse services and make it easier for individuals sleeping rough to access wrap-around support. Our outreach teams are trained to engage and build relationships with people with multiple, complex needs, to increase levels of engagement with vital treatment and enable people to get the help they need to rebuild their lives off the streets.”

Tony Lee, National Lived Experience Volunteer at Change Grow Live added, “This project is the first fully wrap-around offer I have seen for homeless people. Homeless clients will now have support to meet all their needs, from drug and alcohol treatment, mental health, physical health, housing and benefits support to mention just a few. The care and thought that has gone into the design has been brilliant to be a part of.

“As a person who was homeless for 12 years in London, I can also say that the impact an approach like this will have will be life changing. Homeless people will be engaged in their own environment and not asked to come into an office or building. Just this alone will increase the engagement tremendously and better engagement means better outcomes. It’s one of the most exciting and innovative programs I have been involved with and feel really privileged to be a part of it”.



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