On 22nd June our volunteers started to "stand down" their support from the local hotel which had accommodated Rough Sleepers during the initial Covid-19 pandemic. 70 rough sleepers went through the service with all but one being successfully moved to other housing... 10 people were moved into a single project (pioneered by Medway Council housing strategy) in Chatham, and our volunteers went with them!
Since then we have been providing a "Temporary Supported Housing Project" at this property - volunteers are on site 13 hours a day offering support and assistance to try and help our residents to address underlying causes of homelessness (from the "simple stuff" like obtaining ID and bank accounts, to more complex problems such as mental health/addiction).
We also actively encourage people to "get involved" within the house - during the Summer we begun to renovate the garden (thank you to all those who helped out with tools/plants/bird tables/furniture!) and have bigger plans for next year - we have people coming in to teach cooking/baking, and one of the nicest things is that our residents "bulk cook" for the whole house!
Each resident receives brand new bedding, towels and a "Welcome Pack" (new underwear, toiletries, snacks etc.) on arrival, and a Home Starter Pack when they finally "move on" to permanent accommodation... so far we've supported 30 people through this project.
We do not currently receive any funding for this project - it is run by well trained volunteers with a HUGE team of "background support". Any expenses we incur are paid for through OBF funds.
We are, as always, very grateful to all the other agencies within Medway who offer us assistance and support.