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  • Date: 22/04/2024

Honeycomb Group provides safe homes and support for over 600 people impacted by homelessness

Rough sleepers in Stoke-on-Trent are off the streets and into secure accommodation thanks to an award-winning homelessness partnership - led by our homelessness specialist, Concrete

In the last year, Destination:Home has housed 513 people, and supported a further 151 to keep their homes via floating support across the city.

The partnership, commissioned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, sees Concrete work with local partners to provide a 24/7 support service to people impacted by homelessness locally. This includes supported accommodation schemes, tenancy sustainment in homes across the community and peer mentoring programmes.

This work is vital, as homelessness is on the rise across the region. Data released by DLUHC last year revealed that 1,547 households reached out to the city council for homelessness support in 2022-23, a rise of 11% on the previous year’s statistics.

In the last year, Concrete and the wider Destination:Home partnership have launched new schemes and projects to tackle these stats and address issues like rough sleeping, and complex needs such as monkey dust addiction.

Head of Homelessness, Housing and Complex Needs, Laura Dalton, said: “As a homelessness specialist, we’ve seen countless people sleeping rough, whether that’s in the doorways of local businesses, bus stops or even by people’s homes. This isn’t safe for them, and it isn’t right for our communities.

Laura Dalton

“Supported accommodation, like our recently opened Vivian Culvert House, has had a huge impact in cutting down the number of rough sleepers we are seeing in our local towns. These schemes bring homeless people - including those with physical disabilities – off the streets and into a safe and warm place that they can call home.

“Our schemes are fully secure, staffed 24/7, with lots of support from a highly specialist team. The services exist to not only house individuals, but also help them to develop skills and beat challenges, such as addiction, to one day move on to an independent new chapter.

“Our mission of making homelessness history isn’t easy, but it is crucial to save the lives of people who are sleeping rough, and to improve and develop our city. We appreciate the support we have had from the local community so far, and we can’t wait to continue our vital work in the future.”

A bedroom at Vivian Culvert House

Customer Aaron, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, faced homelessness and addiction for many years. He was one of the first to move into the Vivian Culvert House scheme, explaining that it was a 'fresh start' for him.

He said: "I’ve been on drugs since an early age. I’ve had a lot of problems, but I am done with everything now. Moving in here is a fresh start for me – I can’t live like that anymore. I’ve had enough of it.

“The new scheme is amazing – by far the nicest place I’ve ever been. It makes me want to sort myself out and start again.”

Cllr Robinson and Cllr Colclough visiting Vivian Culvert House

Councillor Chris Robinson, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and planning at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, added: “Facilities like Vivian Culvert House are absolutely vital in helping to support the most vulnerable members of our communities, not only by helping them into accommodation but also providing them with the wraparound care needed to help individuals deal with sometimes serious and complex issues.

“The challenges we are facing in dealing with homelessness in Stoke-on-Trent are no different to those facing other towns and cities across the country but where we excel is in our partnership working. Trusted organisations such as Honeycomb Group play a key part in helping to support rough sleepers in the city and we are extremely grateful to them for all of the fantastic work they continue to deliver in the city.”

Click here to find out more about Concrete.