Permanent homeless rehabilitation facility planned for Worksop

Bassetlaw Council plans to create a treatment facility for long-term homeless people - taking them off the streets ‘once and for all’.

By Ben McVay
Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 4:45 pm

It comes as homelessness levels in the district fell to their lowest levels since 2012 this month - with just four individuals living without a home.

Though the council’s housing needs team has helped 33 people get into accommodation during the pandemic they admit there are some homeless people with ‘specific needs’ who require intensive help to be accepted by a landlord.

The council is currently bidding for over £180,000 from Government body Homes England - to be match-funded with £100,000 of the council’s own money.

Bassetlaw Council plans to create a treatment facility for long-term homeless people - taking them off the streets ‘once and for all’

If the bid is successful the council’s housing needs team will use it to buy a six-bedroom property and employ two mental health support workers to work one-to-one with those it houses.

Their aim is to get some of the most problematic homeless people in the district into permanent housing through rehabilitation - working with partners such as Adult and Social Care, and homelessness charities Hope and Framework.

Because the property will be council, instead of landlord-owned, it will allow the housing needs team to work on rehabilitating people with issues such as alcohol, drug and mental health issues for as long as is necessary.

Read More

Read More
Bassetlaw's 'rough sleepers are human beings' and need compassion, community wor...
Christine Staniforth and Steve Scotthorne at one of the council's homeless shelters

Each room, with an en-suite bathroom, will be secured from other occupants and there will be two shared kitchens - allowing homeless people to feel safe while living there.

Christine Staniforth, the council’s strategic housing manager, told how one of the biggest issues for homeless people in most hostels was a feeling of being unsafe.

She said: “We’re keeping the numbers low to make people feel safe because clients say they feel safer on the street than in big, hostel-type facilities.

“A lot of homeless people have a significant fear of other homeless people - they daren’t go to sleep because they’re scared of being attacked and robbed.

“Feeling safe is important for mental health and they need a place where they can take stock and look at what they want to achieve.”

As part of this year’s winter provision the council has identified three single-person properties from its housing stock to place those in need of shelter during cold weather.

It had hoped to provide a homelessness hub however the need for social-distancing means each of the sheltered properties will house just one homeless person.

The properties will be available from the beginning of next month until the end of March.

However the council’s strategy - to address homelessness, joblessness and inequality in the district - also aims to prevent homelessness in the first place.

Councillor Steve Scotthorne, member for housing, said: “It’s important that people present as soon as possible.

“As soon as someone thinks they’re at risk of losing their home they need to present to our housing needs team.”

Where a tenant is facing eviction after, for example, losing their job there are options to ensure a household is not left without somewhere to live.

These include alternative private rented accommodation or support through the council’s money advisers and benefits team - who provide financial advice or can make payments from the homeless prevention fund.

If you are worried about losing your home phone the council’s housing needs team on 01909 533 455.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.