A NEW HOMELESSNESS prevention project for rough sleepers and ex-offenders has won a major national award after improving the lives of its residents.
The eight-bed facility in Bangor is first project of its type in North Wales to offer supported accommodation for rough sleepers and those who have been released from custody.
It aims to break the cycle of reoffending by integrating residents back into the community using a tailored package of support – including treatment for substance misuse and mental health conditions, education and skills. The model has also been shown to save money, with the local authority reducing its reliance on emergency bed and breakfast accommodation for this client group.
To qualify, prospective residents must have a connection to the Gwynedd area and be at risk of homelessness. Support begins in prison, with interventions by Cygnor Gwynedd’s resettlement officer, and continues following release with the support of probation services.
CAIS director of recovery services Naomii Oakley said the award – in the Homelessness Prevention category, and shared with the Detached Youth Work Team from Powys County Council – was a significant boost for the new service.
“We’re pleased that our efforts have been recognised by this award, but the success of this initiative is down to effective partnership working and a clear focus on the needs of the individual by all the agencies involved,” she said.
“In one case, we were able to help a resident with a significant history of mental illness, substance misuse and offending achieve a major milestone by resuming contact with his child.
“This was a great outcome and simply wouldn’t have been possible without the stable accommodation and consistent support delivered by the Ty’n Rodyn team and our partners."
“With our support another socially isolated and severely anxious resident has now been able to sustain his own tenancy, with significant benefits to his independence and wellbeing," she added.
“These are real success stories, and we hope they prove the foundations of continued recovery over the months and years to come.”
The partnership has also enabled residents to get active and take part in events in the community, including volunteering and opportunities through the Cyfle Cymru peer mentoring and employability scheme.
A team from Ty’n Rodyn also won a recent tug of war competition – promoting physical activity and significant benefits to mental health, self-esteem and wellbeing.
The Wrexham One Love Choir, for people who have experienced homelessness, addiction, mental health issues, or who are otherwise vulnerable or marginalised, was a finalist in the Promoting Inclusion category.