The Corby Homeless Project, which comprises of supported accommodation for those who are homeless, opens its doors to rough sleepers on Wednesday 22nd January. The project is being managed by East Northants Community Services (ENCS) who run a night shelter in Rushden, as well as an alcohol and drug rehab, a food bank and a community café.
Open all year, the accommodation has been designed to provide a warm, friendly, safe, non-judgmental environment to promote and support growth in individuals’ self-esteem, confidence and aspirations. We will offer information, support and practical help that will empower people to make and act on positive informed choices. Staff will work with them to identify and remove barriers to obtaining more permanent accommodation.
Jo Burns, Operations Manager for ENCS says “we are very pleased to be housing individuals from Wednesday 22nd January onwards. We appreciate that this took longer than anticipated and want to thank those that have supported us, those who have come forward since Christmas to volunteer their time and the staff for working incredibly hard to get to this point. There is a wonderful community in Corby who provide a huge amount of support for vulnerable individuals and we are really excited to be a part of that.
In order to open on the 22nd January, we have had to make the decision, following some feedback from our staff, the council and the community, to employ overnight staff. This will be on a temporary basis whilst we identify individuals who are able to do this overnight shift, as we understand that this has been the case in previous years.”
A number of individuals have already been assessed by the council’s Outreach Worker, Martin Sawers, and it is anticipated that the accommodation will be fully occupied by the end of January.
Corby Borough Council’s Lead Member for Neighbourhood and Housing, Cllr Bob Eyles, said: ‘We are extremely pleased that the shelter will open its doors to give rough sleepers some much needed warmth and comfort, particularly as temperatures drop. Thank you to ENCS for their hard work in getting us to this point and to the volunteers who have come forward to help run a much-needed service within the community.’
If you are able to volunteer, if you would like to make a donation for Corby project or have another way you might be able to support, them please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information please contact Jo Burns on 01933 733001 or email email@example.com
Charity number – 1154210
Corby Borough Council
For more information, please get in touch with their press team on 01536 464020
Corby Homeless Project:
With their own investment, Corby Borough Council completed renovation works on a building on the Kingswood estate of Corby to create a supported housing pathways project for people sleeping rough or at risk of doing so. The project includes a 16 bed space shelter and two supported housing flats that can sleep up to 8 individuals. The Council, after successfully bidding for support funding through the Government’s Rough Sleeper Initiative, carried out a competitive tendering process to manage and deliver this resource and ENCS were appointed as the management organisation for this project. Their remit is to shelter individuals who are rough sleeping or at risk of doing so and help them to move onto permanent accommodation. In addition they will be giving a sourcing appropriate support for the more vulnerable and entrenched service users to ensure that any future housing options can be sustained.
Using this same funding, the Council have also employed a Rough Sleeper Outreach Worker to engage and support service users to identify their housing and welfare needs. This incorporates working closely with all charitable organisations, support organisations and statutory welfare organisations including the Corby Homeless Project Resource run by ENCS to ensure an appropriate and consistent service is provided.
As well as the Corby Homeless Project, ENCS operate a range of services with the objective of helping disadvantaged people rise above their difficulties and live normal lives. These are as follows.
A night shelter
Overseen by a dedicated staff member the night shelter has six beds, is open from 18:30 to 09:00 and operates 365 days of the year. Referrals are received from the Police, Probation Services, Drug & Alcohol services, the local authority as well as friends, families and self-referral. In 2018 the shelter provided 1,213 bed nights and supported 104 individuals. While service users are at the shelter, ENCS aim to uncover the cause of their homelessness and support them to engage with statutory and voluntary sector agencies that can help them address the issues they face. The shelter also directly provides access to counselling and debt management support. The work of the Sanctuary is principally funded by Housing Benefit and grants from East Northants Council but there is a gap of £20,000 between expenditure and income which has to be bridged by grants and donations.
A substance abuse rehabilitation programme (Recovery House)
This is a six-month residential programme that is based on the 12 step Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous model. The service is free to clients and delivered by 6 staff (2 full-time) and 15 volunteers. Referrals are received from local addiction support organisations and through other ENCS services; the service focuses on engaging those that are determined to break their addiction. The residential rehabilitation facility (Recovery House) accommodates 6 males and there are two ‘move-on’ houses (accommodating a further 7 males) where those completing the residential programme can stay for up to 12 months. In 2018 the rehabilitation programme supported 24 individuals and achieved a 98% occupancy level.
A Food Bank
This service is principally run by volunteers and in 2018 a total of 785 food parcels were distributed. Service users are engaged and a route out of their situation identified with them. An initial food parcel is always provided but subsequent parcels are conditional on engaging with the support recommended; this may include attending a personal finance course or contacting addiction services etc.
A Drop-in Café (Cornerfield Café)
The community café is open two mornings/week and provides a low cost breakfast and an opportunity to socialise. Volunteers engage service users and where possible give guidance to help them to improve their situation. A paid professional counsellor is available and takes referrals from the café, food bank and night shelter.
The ENCS services are interconnected: for instance, clients might access the rehabilitation programme through the night shelter and those exiting the night shelter may continue to receive support via the café.
All ENCS services are delivered in a manner consistent with our values, this means we listen carefully, show acceptance and stand alongside service users in their struggles. This relational approach enables trust to develop so clients feel secure and more able to engage with support from other agencies.