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Mayor Hails 'Major Advance' in Support for Vulnerable with Opening of New Complex Needs Accommodation

February 28, 2018 6:09 PM

Mayor Dave Hodgson in a kitchen at Clarence HouseMayor Dave Hodgson today visited the Council's brand new facility for rough sleepers with complex needs, and spoke of the 'major, exciting advance' it represents in the support th Council can provide for vulnerable local homeless people

The 29 bed Clarence House in Bedford will provide 24-hour specialist, intensive support to some of Bedford's most vulnerable people so they can they break the cycle of homelessness.

The facility, which will open in March, will provide:

  • Specialist and high-level support
  • Each individual with high complex needs with a key worker
  • Each individual with a support plan
  • Support to stabilise and reduce risky and harmful behaviour
  • Supported accommodation for those who previously had difficulties in other settings
  • Access to a range of services to support needs and constructive activities, by working with partner agencies
  • Skills and a bespoke support plan to help individuals achieve more independent living

Commenting, Mayor Dave said: "This brand new facility represents a major advance in the support we can offer to some of the most vulnerable members of our community. This is not just about providing a roof over people's heads, but also the specialist support that some people need to break the cycle of homelessness and live a more stable, secure life. This is the very first unit of its kind in this area, and we intend to ensure it makes a lasting, positive difference in the lives of vulnerable people in Bedford Borough."

The service and support will be managed by the Arlington division of the One Housing housing association, under contract to Bedford Borough Council. Arlington's model has worked successfully in London and has been used in other cities. Specialist staff will help some of the most vulnerable residents of Bedford toward a more independent and settled way of life. The service will work in partnership with a range of support services, to make sure that there is opportunity and choice for those being supported.

Nuala Foley, Director of Health Care and Support at One Housing said "We are excited to start work at Clarence House. This week's cold snap underlines how important these services are. Sadly for some homeless people, a roof over their head isn't enough to break the cycle of homelessness. Our team will offer Bedford's most vulnerable homeless people a place take steps to a long term independent future."

Mayor Dave has uploaded a number of photos from his visit to his Facebook page, where you can also see further comments from him on the new facility.