A group of organisations in the South Yorkshire town of Doncaster have held their first “pop-up hub” to help homeless people and rough sleepers with health issues and other concerns.
The initiative, run by the organisations under the banner of the Complex Lives Alliance, was designed to help homeless people in the area to “try and turn their lives around”.
“It shows what can be achieved by working together to break the cycle of homelessness”
It saw 18 people attend and receive support and advice, such as financial assistance, housing support, wound care and help to tackle addiction and mental health issues.
Each person received a bespoke assessment of their general health and received medical treatment if needed, and wound care treatment.
They also were given advice and support to make benefit claims, offered hot showers and fresh clothes, a drink and biscuits.
The hub was open from 9.30am to 2pm on 19 July at the Hallgate United Reform Church, which was part of the partnership that arranged the initiative.
The partnership also included the Aspire Drug and Alcohol Service, run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, GPs and community nurses, charities, the council and police.
“We need to ensure that we engage with people on their terms and in the ways that they want to”
Nurses involved with the hub included Rose Robinson-Smith, senior nurse case manager with the Aspire Drug and Alcohol Service.
Mental health nurse Jayne Wallace, team manager for the trust’s Access Home Treatment Team, and Claire Darby-Smith, a sister and clinical educator, also worked on the initiative.
It was led by Aspire service manager Stuart Green, who described the hub as a “resounding success and the first of its kind in Doncaster”.
Mr Green said: “It is a perfect example of beating a range of issues that often present as addiction in the community.
“It shows what can be achieved by working together to break the cycle of homelessness, begging and substance addiction with one aim to give people hope and a way off the streets to lead a better life,” he said.
Nigel Ball, Doncaster Council’s cabinet member for public health, added: “There are no ‘quick wins’ in this process and we need to ensure that we engage with people on their terms and in the ways that they want to.”
As reported by Nursing Times, a pilot has been launched this month to provide rough sleepers in the Ipswich and Suffolk Coastal areas with mental health assessment and short-term interventions.
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It will see senior mental health practitioner Jonathan Dickson engage with rough sleepers in the area, with the hope of getting them help to address underlying mental health conditions.