New homeless hub for rough sleepers opens up in Willesden

Cllr Eleanor Southwood with Lauretta O'Sullivan, service development manager for St Mungo’s at the n

Cllr Eleanor Southwood with Lauretta O'Sullivan, service development manager for St Mungos at the new homeless hub in Willesden - Credit: Archant

A new hub offering shelter to rough sleepers has opened in Willesden as part of Brent’s commitment to show homelessness the door.

The new service run by the charity St Mungo’s will help to tackle homelessness after the council secured a £359,000 grant from the nationwide Rough Sleeper Initiative.

Eleven people can be housed at the property at any one time, with two bed spaces set aside for women.

The service is open to those who are sleeping on the streets, due for discharge from hospital but with nowhere to go, those released from prison and those with no access to public funds because they are not UK nationals but need temporary support while their longer term options are assessed.

Every person who uses the hub will be assessed within 72 hours with the idea that they will move on from the hub after a maximum stay of eight weeks.

The grant also supports two other services. Six flats within the borough have been allocated to house single people with a history of rough sleeping, which is also run by St Mungo’s.

Tenants will be given a 12 month introductory tenancy that could be extended to five years. The properties provide longer term safe and stable accommodation for people who are working towards their recovery from homelessness.

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A social worker has also been employed to work closely with the Brent outreach team, going out on the streets to meet people sleeping rough and be able to offer mental health assessments.

They will also work one day a week in Brent Civic Centre, offering mental health support and advice to single homeless people.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, cabinet member for housing and welfare Reform, said: “We are pleased to be working with St Mungo’s to offer these new services, which have already helped nine people off the streets.

“The flats and the hub are providing practical ways to help rough sleepers in Brent and support people who find themselves without a roof over the head to improve their health and long term opportunities.”

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