Agenda and minutes
Venue: Scaitcliffe House, Ormerod Street, Accrington
Contact: Fiona Goodfellow Housing and Regeneration (01254 380 195)
Welcome and Introductions
2.00pm Fiona Goodfellow
FG opened the meeting by welcoming everyone. Those present introduced themselves and the organisations they represented.
Minutes from July 2019 meeting and matters arising
There were no matters arising from the previous Minutes.
2.15pm Kimberley Helm - Shelter
FG introduced Kimberley Helm from Shelter who had come along to the meeting to talk about the Enhanced Through the Gate Service.
KH explained that Shelter worked with anyone who had a custodial or community sentence across Lancashire. Their aim was to help offenders to find accommodation or sustain accommodation when they were released from prison and also to assist with any financial, debt or welfare benefit issues.
Offender services were delivered through two contracts: one with Sodexo covering Lancashire and Northumbria working within prisons and the community; the other with Purple Futures working only within the prison service.
Teams were based in all Lancashire prisons including:
· HMP Lancaster Farms
· HMP Kirkham
· HMP Preston
Shelter’s advice and support forms part of the Enhanced Through the Gate service delivered by CRC (Community Rehabilitation Companies). The Enhanced Through the Gate service aims to offer a seamless service to service users by joining up custodial and community advice and support services.
KH then gave a presentation which is attached to these Minutes for your information.
2.45pm Fiona Goodfellow – Hyndburn BC
FG explained that the Council were currently undertaking the annual Rough Sleeper Estimate which would take place on the evening of Wednesday 13th November into the morning of Thursday 14th November.
Agencies would possibly be familiar with this if they had been involved over the past few years.
FG informed the Forum that she would like to go through the process and explain this in more detail for partners who had not been involved with this previously.
A post estimation meeting would take place on Thursday 14th November commencing at 11.00am to discuss and agree the final figure to be submitted to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
Post Meeting Note – a return of 6 rough sleepers was submitted to MHCLG.
FG then gave a presentation which is attached to these Minutes for your information.
FG explained that the Draft Homelessness Review and Draft Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy documents had been circulated with the invitation to the Forum, these were now out for consultation.
Draft Homelessness Review – this document was an overview of the current situation around homelessness in Hyndburn and over the past 5 years.
Draft Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy – this document explained the measures which the Council would be working towards over the next 5 years in order to reduce homelessness in Hyndburn. It also included an action plan.
Both documents had been formed from information gathered over the past 12 months at Forum meetings.
The above documents would be available for consultation until the 29th November 2019.
FG then gave a presentation which is attached to the Minutes for your information.
Crossroads was now out of contract with LCC and the re-tendering process was still ongoing. In the meantime, the existing contract was being extended, yet again, while decisions were made regarding future services. Unfortunately this meant that Crossroads were unable to make any plans for the future until clarification on services and the way forward was determined.
Crossroads had recently had a young person under the age of 18 who was a victim of modern day slavery. FG said she would reflect this in the review.
On Wednesday 11th December Crossroads were hosting a Salvation Army Carol Service commencing at 6pm.
Crossroads currently had 1 vacancy.
North Lancs Training Group (NLTG)
NLTG offered courses to try and help people gain employment. This was open to anyone and NLTG have had homeless people attending.
NLTG had been involved with a young man who was currently sofa surfing and had been experiencing difficulties in trying to obtain support with numerous problems. FG suggested he contacted Maundy Relief.
Shelter were based in Blackburn Central Library but cover a wider remit. They could provide advice on housing advice, debt and finance. Advice can be provided over the telephone if people are unable to attend the office. Shelter also provide Court Desks based at Burnley and Preston where staff were available to provide legal advice to people at risk of their home being repossessed.
A Service User Christmas Party had been arranged for the 12th December commencing at 11.00am in Blackburn Central Library which was available to anyone accessing their services.
The Navigator Service was now up and running. This involved staff going out into the community looking for anyone found sleeping rough. Anyone found sleeping rough would be offered support to try and get them off the streets. Individuals seen sleeping rough by members of the public could also be reported through ‘Street Link’.
Community Solutions North West
PCC Life Choices project was starting which was aimed at those in the criminal justice system or at risk of entering the criminal justice system and those with chaotic lifestyles who were impacting on the Police and statutory services. The project offered befriending and mentoring, practical support and advice, wellbeing training, anger management, mindfulness, life choices, counselling and pastoral care, employment support, volunteering etc. A referral process was on their website.
Further information on the courses available could be found at https://csnw.co.uk/whats-on/
The YMCA currently had 1 female vacancy more suitable for someone over the age of 22yrs.
Onward Homes had recently provided 3 two bedroomed houses in Hyndburn for the Calico dispersed homelessness project which had just been signed off.
They were also trying to work more effectively on preventing homelessness progressing with their tenancy sustainment programme which was working with tenants at the start of their tenancy to assist them in sustaining a tenancy.
Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) Housing Support Service
CAB provide housing support and advice to people at risk of losing their homes. ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Date and time of next meeting
To be circulated
Dates for the Diary
1. Thursday 26th March 2020 at 2pm
2. Wednesday 8th July 2020 at 2pm
3. Tuesday 10th November 2020 at 2pm