The council will be moving people sleeping rough, or at risk of rough sleeping, into new supported accommodation.
As part of the government’s ‘everyone in’ initiative at the start of the pandemic, the council and Travelodge worked together to provide accommodation for some of the town’s most vulnerable people. This arrangement – in place throughout the initial pandemic lockdown – was secured by the council, with the day-to-day running provided by Room at the Inn, supported by Your Housing Group’s Vulnerable Tenants Support Service (VTSS).
Since then, the council has been working closely with partners to find a more permanent solution to provide support to the town’s people sleeping rough. The next phase of providing accommodation support will see a new supported living provision, with 22 rooms, established on Museum Street. The new accommodation has en-suite rooms and communal kitchen/dining areas. Residents will have continued support from the council and its partners in helping those with addiction problems, and mental and physical health issues.
Cabinet member for Housing, Public Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said: “On behalf of the council and our partners, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Travelodge for the essential support they provided to our people sleeping rough during the start of the pandemic. I’m very grateful to Room at the Inn, VTSS and our dedicated council officers for helping to manage the scheme at the hotel, too.
“I’d also like to thank My Meals Warrington, Making Space, The Vine Group, Step Up Security, Hawkeye Security and Change Grow Live (CGL) for helping us to deliver this temporary service by providing support, wholesome meals and security assistance to keep our residents and staff safe. The work our officers did during the initial pandemic response, alongside Room at The Inn and VTSS, was a real safety net for those who needed additional help and support during lockdown.
“Since then, a wide range of support has been continually provided to our people sleeping rough, with people accessing support for mental and physical health issues where needed, and I’m glad this will continue for residents in the new accommodation.
“I’m pleased that this supported housing scheme for vulnerable adults has been developed to sit alongside our other existing short-term homeless accommodation available in Warrington – including James Lee House, Haven House, Verve Place, New Start and the women’s refuge.
I’m confident this additional support will provide further help to some of our most vulnerable residents to get back on their feet. The work of so many of our partners has been critical in getting us this far and we now have a unique opportunity to work together to find a permanent solution to homelessness and rough sleeping in Warrington.”
The new supported accommodation ensures that residents can stay in their own private rooms to observe social distancing and, if required, self-isolation. Referrals to this new provision will be made through the council’s housing options service.
The council has worked with Encircle Housing to create the new housing scheme, which will be managed by Room at The Inn. Brian Monaghan, Chair of Trustees at Room at the Inn/Y project, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for Room at the Inn to work with the council and Encircle Housing to manage this supported housing project, which complements the other services for homelessness in the area. It will provide the opportunity, with our already-developed partnerships, to offer support with addictions and mental and physical health, alongside offering life and employability skills to help people move on to independence and their own affordable accommodation.”