Joined the campaign: November 2016
The local campaign, named the Torbay End Street Homelessness Campaign (TESH), is jointly led by three organisations, Torbay Council, homelessness charity Shekinah Mission, and housing association Westward Housing . Many other organisations are also involved including PATH Torbay, The Haven Torbay and Torbay Street Pastors.
Context: Torbay is a borough in Devon incorporating the three towns of Torquay, Brixham and Paignton, where rough sleeping has increased dramatically in recent years. Whilst this reflects a national trend, Torbay shows a higher percentage increase compared to England as a whole.
What has happened so far?
They held their first Connections Week in April 2017 where 25 volunteers spoke to 29 people on the street about their needs. Half of the people surveyed had been on the streets for at least a year and one had been homeless fifteen times.
In response to the survey findings, Torbay developed steps detailing how they will support individuals off the streets into permanent homes. These include:
- using a single local phone number to report people sleeping on the streets;
- entering information about people on to a single system;
- developing Housing First for those who have been sleeping rough; and
- using a single approach across Torbay no matter which organisation is working with an individual.
Their second Connections Week was held in January 2018 and 40 surveys were completed. The week included visiting services such as the local night shelter. Organisations will now continue work in finding homes and support for those on the street.
Voices of People with Lived Experience:
Both Ross and Rob were found during the first Connections Week. They have now been supported into homes. Find out more in this video.
Torbay are considering how they can implement Housing First into current housing provision. They have received funding from the Nationwide Foundation to commission Crisis to carry out an evaluation to plan for Housing First services. The findings will be presented in late spring 2018.
Find out more: