Homelessness affects us all.
The individual, their family and the area they live in. It impacts public services, the criminal justice system and ultimately the tax payer.
Let’s work together to tackle homelessness in Dorset.
Homelessness is growing at an alarming rate.
Nationally, it’s increased by 169% since 2010. As providers of supported housing, demand for our services is increasing.
It is estimated that there are 160,000 households in the UK experiencing homelessness with as many as 4,600 people sleeping rough on any given night.
At Hope we support our clients, who have been affected by homelessness, to rebuild their lives.
We equip them with the skills and knowledge to overcome their past issues. We aim to empower them to live a healthy lifestyle and step forward into independent living and employment. We know that by helping them to do this, not only will their quality of life improve, but it will have far reaching benefits for many others.
Our clients benefit from a safe and stable home environment, giving them the opportunity to break away from negative patterns and the uncertainties of former lives.
They learn healthier ways of living – we offer a wide range of therapies to benefit body, mind and soul. From regular medical health checks, counselling, gym and yoga to gardening and five a side football, we offer opportunities to support recovery from addiction and create new, positive patterns for life.
Once our clients settle in, we support them to make major improvements in their lives – such as reconnecting with families and dealing with addictions. Our highly trained support workers are on hand to offer guidance and encouragement, liaising with external agencies as necessary.
We offer a comprehensive training programme; our clients have many opportunities to learn new skills. There’s something for everyone - from accredited Maths and English classes, to Food & Hygiene courses, Construction Industry CICS Training, guitar lessons, cooking classes to cycle repair workshops.
We offer hope for the future, helping clients to put the past behind them and take positive steps towards a rebuilding their lives.
Echoing national trends, there has been a rapid increase in the number of rough sleepers in Bournemouth and across Dorset. Bournemouth has seen a 168% rise in applications for help with homelessness in the past two years. As a result, demand for safe and secure accommodation has risen.
We now accommodate over 90 individuals in 13 properties in Poole and Bournemouth, supporting them to rebuild their lives. For person who leaves Hope to move on into independent living, we are then able to offer a stable home to someone else affected by homelessness.
We accept referrals from over forty five agencies, charities and statutory organisations that work with street homeless, as well as probation services, treatment and rehab centres, so the amount of housing we offer has a direct impact on the amount of rough sleepers and potential homeless people in the county, effectively reducing their numbers on the streets.
As they progress on the road to recovery and self-development, our clients become part of community life again, which improves their sense of health, well-being, identity and the community they engage with. Whether it is joining a five a side football team, volunteering for a couple of hours, getting a part-time job, or even participating in a group talk about overcoming addiction, their contribution is invaluable.
Homelessness comes hand in hand with crime and punishment.
In 2017, The Manchester Evening News stated that the annual average cost of keeping an individual in prison exceeded £32,450 a year. However the cost to rehabilitate them and support them is just a fraction of that sum.
We know that giving people a safe and stable place to live, as well as supporting them and giving them guidance and life skills has a positive impact on their rate of re-offending. Many clients go on to rebuild their lives and even be role models for others. Not only does this give them a profound sense of well-being and empowerment but it has a knock-on effect of contributing to a safer society as a whole.
Homeless Link has found that people who experience homelessness for three months or longer costs the NHS an average £4,298 of per person.
Homelessness impacts all emergency services. The accessibility to doctors or dentists is limited for rough sleepers meaning that health issues are left untreated until they become an emergency. Add to this the costs of dealing with the associated health conditions of living on the streets and costs for each regional NHS Trust are estimated to spiral to as much as £60,000 a year.
At Hope, our Health and Wellbeing Officer registers all clients with doctors and dentists when they arrive and encourages them to attend medical health checks and appointments. We support them, along with external agencies, to overcome addictions and break negative patterns thereby reducing the burden on public services as a whole.
Last year, Homeless Link estimated that the cost of rough sleeping for 12 months was 14 times the cost successful intervention. (£20,128 vs £1,426).
In their budget for 2018/9, Bournemouth Borough Council made substantial provision to tackle homelessness within the town, allocating an additional £4.5 million to Adults’ and Children’s Services. This means that next year 79% of the Council’s entire budget will be used to meet the cost of statutory, demand led social care services, including homelessness.
Homelessness also has a human cost. The distress of lacking a settled home can cause or intensify social isolation, create barriers to education, training and paid work and undermine mental and physical health. When homelessness becomes prolonged, or is repeatedly experienced, there are further deterioration's in health and wellbeing.
At Hope, we know that we can make a real difference to people’s lives by offering safe housing, good quality training and support to equip our clients with the skills they need to escape negative patterns., offering them stability, security and real hope for the future.