Published: Friday, 12th January 2018
The new centre will help rough sleepers with complex needs get back on their feet.
The development is part of the Council's positive work to reduce the number of people sleeping on the streets in Royal Greenwich. It aims to meet the need identified by the Council for more specialist housing provision for the growing number of rough sleepers with complex needs.
About the Greenwich Hub
Located in Plumstead Common Road, the centre provides accommodation for 12 people and support to help them take their first steps on their journey to independent living.
Following the revamp of two formerly dilapidated buildings the scheme, for Royal Borough of Greenwich referrals with a local connection, provides a safe environment for residents to be rapidly assessed and for their issues to be addressed by clinical psychologists and other specialists.
Both Thames Reach though their employment schemes and Greenwich Local Labour and Business (GLLaB) will offer training, volunteering and employment opportunities to the residents to help with their integration into the local workforce.
The Greenwich Hub is to extend the supported accommodation pathway for rough sleepers by providing the highest level of support to help get people off the streets. The pathway has five other properties which provide lower levels of support, to help prepare up to 25 residents for resettlement in the community.
Thames Reach, which is commissioned by the Council to run the service, works in partnership with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM) and other organisations to support residents.
The Council in partnership with Thames Reach made a successful bid for funding for the Greenwich Hub from the Homelessness Prevention Grant launched by the Department of Communities and Local Government.
Rise in rough sleepers
Royal Greenwich, which has lower numbers of rough sleepers compared to inner London boroughs, witnessed an unprecedented 50 per cent rise of people sleeping on its streets in a four year period.
The number rose to 110 in the year 2015/16 from 56 in 2012/13 however it dipped to 91 last year due to the Council's work to address homelessness. Of the 28 sleepers who approached the Council for help 70 per cent had either substance abuse or mental health issues.
Councillor Averil Lekau, Cabinet Member for Housing and Anti-Poverty
"This is part of our positive work to reduce the number of people living rough on the streets across the Royal Borough. It provides a wonderful safe environment where people can get the opportunity to make changes and begin to move forward with their lives.
"It is a fantastic example of what can be achieved with collaborative working and I would like to thank everyone including Thames Reach, L&Q Living, SLAM and all the other contributors to this centre for their hard work."
Councillor David Gardner, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care
"This centre provides an important extension of our pathway to support the most vulnerable rough sleepers move to independent living in the community.
"The Greenwich Hub is about so much more than providing accommodation. It is to provide a high level of support ranging from psychological treatments to help with jobs and training to help residents take the right steps to improve their lives."
Resident Keith (38)
"This place will really help a lot of people. I am really pleased to be here the centre will give me a chance to get help with the issues I have to deal with so I can move on with my life."
Jeremy Swain, the Chief Executive of Thames Reach
"Thames Reach are delighted to be delivering this new project in partnership with Royal Borough of Greenwich, L&Q Living and SLAM. It will enable us to support more people to rebuild their lives and move away from homelessness."