Thanet RISE officially launched on Wednesday 10 October. It is a new project set up specifically to support rough sleepers in the district.
The launch also coincided with World Homelessness Day, and was attended by David Johnson, Rough Sleeping Advisor, from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.
The Thanet RISE project is a multi-agency partnership between Porchlight, Thanet District Council, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust and the Forward Trust. The project also involves the Thanet Winter Shelter, Salvation Army and Paramount Independent Property Services.
RISE stands for Rough sleeper Intervention, Support and Empowerment. The project has been created to address health and wellbeing as these can often be barriers for rough sleepers when they are trying to find and keep accommodation.
Thanet RISE is unique as its team comprises four Porchlight workers working alongside a council officer, and a dedicated Substance Misuse and Mental Health worker , all co-located at the Council’s offices. Crucially, this approach enables those in need to get support and help as quickly as possible, taking away the time spent making contact and referrals to other organisations. It also considers the way rough sleepers access support – which can often be too overwhelming if services are offered from different places.
Cllr Lesley Game, Cabinet Member for Housing at Thanet District Council, said:
“Over recent years, we have seen how social and economic factors have had a critical effect on the housing and homeless situation across the UK, and Thanet is no different. We face many of these challenges in our community, so I am extremely encouraged that we have secured this funding until 2020. It will allow us to extend the work we already do in Thanet and support some of the most vulnerable people in the area .
“Together with the different organisations represented at the launch today, we hope to address the issue of rough sleeping by working together. The Thanet RISE enables us to collectively work with, and empower, those who need our assistance the most. ”
At the launch, David Johnson, Rough Sleeping Advisor, commented on how effective and efficient Thanet has been in tackling its homelessness situation since initial contact was made in June. He also commended the Council’s commitment to drive forward a project in a short space of time, and how it is already showing positive results. Since the project started its work in August, the team has already helped five people who were rough sleeping into supported accommodation, and a further eight people are now in accommodation.
The work undertaken by Thanet RISE involves the team carrying out early morning and late night outreach, to identify people who are rough sleeping across Thanet. They then work with rough sleepers to develop a support plan that tackles any underlying reasons that would prevent them from finding accomodation. This can range from providing food and clothing, helping someone to complete applications, obtaining identification, supporting emotional and mental wellbeing, physical health, practical skills, or support with any substance misuse.
Another part of the project, is a new scheme, owned and managed by Paramount Independent Property Services. This is a supported housing environment which offers a range of services so residents can secure their own tenancies. So far, five people have moved into this accommodation, with another two due to move in.
If you are concerned about someone who is rough sleeping you can notify us via streetlink at www.streetlink.org.uk.
For more information on the project, how to donate or volunteer, visit: www.thanet.gov.uk/roughsleeping.