Project: Supporting rough sleepers at this unprecedented time, finding them suitable accommodation while addressing other needs such as drug or alcohol addiction
Fund: NET Coronavirus Appeal (more info)
The Oasis Partnership is a charity that provides high quality social and psychological support services to improve health and wellbeing. The charity works in partnership with many different organisations, aiming to help individuals to address their substance misuse problems and get their lives back on track.
The Oasis Partnership employs two outreach workers as part of their local Rough Sleepers Initiative (RSI) project. This dynamic multi-agency team includes mental health and housing support workers. The charity’s aim is to support the homeless, getting them off the streets and into suitable accommodation, whilst addressing other needs such as drug or alcohol addiction.
The Heart of Bucks application process was extremely easy and the award made quickly, which was fantastic as we utilised it straight away, turning a part-time role into a full-time position, offering additional support to some of our most vulnerable people in society.
– Colin McGregor-Paterson, CEO of The Oasis Partnership
With a £5,000 grant from the NET Coronavirus Appeal, The Oasis Partnership have been able to increase the amount of support they provide rough sleepers each week.
As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, many rough sleepers have been temporarily housed in order to isolate and protect themselves and others from the virus. This has provided the RSI team with new opportunities for engaging with rough sleepers and new hope that lasting changes can be made to their accommodation status so that they don’t go back to rough sleeping.
“The donation means that we can increase the support hours available each week”, explains Colin McGregor-Paterson, the CEO of The Oasis Partnership. “Homeless people are often complex with multiple issues impacting on their ability to conform in society. Being able to offer targeted outreach support over a period of time means that better and sustainable outcomes can be achieved. The RSI is not only providing accommodation for people, but supporting them to change behaviours and get to a position when they no longer need social support.
“We are expecting to see an increase in rough sleepers in the coming months owing to the impact of the lockdown. Providing an outreach service at this time is extremely important as new homeless people are more vulnerable and susceptible to exploitation and harm. Engaging and supporting people [who are new to rough sleeping] is a vital part of our service in order to reduce risk”.
Here Colin McGregor-Paterson, the CEO of The Oasis Partnership, and Joanne Couper, the Oasis Rough Sleeper Substance Misuse Lead, explain more about the Rough Sleepers Initiative and how they are supporting homeless people at this time: