The three Ps to tackle homelessness
Prevention, partnership and provision – those are the three aims of social landlord Riverside’s new Homelessness Strategy.
The strategy recognises that tackling rough sleeping is not just about providing homes, it’s about dealing with the wider causes of homelessness, including family breakdown, mental health issues, drug addiction and alcoholism.
Riverside’s Homelessness Champion Neil Townsend said: “With housing high on the political, economic and social agenda and the economy in such a fragile state, it is crucial that we view homelessness as a priority. Our diversity, flexibility and emphasis on sustainability means we are uniquely placed to make a real contribution to homelessness.”
He added: “As a responsible business, we not only feel we have a moral duty to provide more support to those who need a helping hand but it also makes good business sense.
“A failed tenancy costs £4,000 to £10,000 and a typical eviction costs over £9,000. Preventative measures can also relieve pressure on public services for example prisons, hospitals and social services.
“Research by the Department for Communities and Local Government shows that preventing homelessness provides value for money compared to the cost of helping somebody who is already homeless. The savings are based on the assumption that the cost to the public purse of providing temporary accommodation and rehousing amounts to £5,300 per case per year.”
Riverside provides 120 single homeless services to over 11,500 vulnerable people across the country with over 1300 units of support in 52 local authority areas.
The organisation aims to deliver results with a focus on employment and life skills through partnership working and training and support programmes such as GROW (Giving Real Opportunities for Work) and GOALS, which delivers motivational training to clients to help them take responsibility for their futures.
Riverside is also working with the government on the No Second Night Out initiative
The strategy is available on the Riverside’s website: http://www.riverside.org.uk/flipbookissues/rsdhomelessstrategy2012/index.html