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Exeter Assertive Homeless Outreach

New contract for Julian House

We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a contract to deliver an outreach service to rough sleepers and people leading street-based lifestyles across Exeter, East Devon and Teignbridge.

Starting today, the fully-funded 30 month contract, awarded by Exeter City Council, has the key aim of supporting rough sleepers off the streets and linking them in with homeless agencies across the area.

In line with national homeless policy, where an individual has no family or historical connection to the area, efforts will be made to reconnect them with their former place of residence.

We will transfer our wealth of experience of working with this very marginalised client group and make a positive impact on moving individuals from, sometimes, very chaotic lifestyles into settled accommodation where support at the right level is accessible.

Our Operations Director, John Isserlis, is excited at the prospect of the new service. “The value of an effective outreach service cannot be understated. As we know, living on the streets is a very dangerous existence. Many of those who are forced to do so are very vulnerable. Some have addiction issues, typically more than 60% will have mental health problems and they are at increased risk of violence. That’s on top of the risk from hypothermia.”

“Every client will be different. Some will be cautious about engaging with outreach staff. But, we know from experience if you get alongside them and understand their individual issues the prospects for getting them off the streets and reconnected with mainstream society are significantly improved.”

Based at the new Exeter CVS Hub and with satellite bases in East Devon and Teignbridge, Julian House outreach staff will work closely with local agencies and service providers, including church based projects, identifying individuals on the streets.

We will also respond promptly to alerts from the public who are encouraged to use the national report a rough sleeper hotline (0300 500 0914).

Alongside providing support, Julian House has a key role to play in building local partnerships to address anti-social behaviour and nuisance that impacts on the whole community and can create a very negative impression of all rough sleepers.

John Isserlis was keen to emphasise the role of the public in assisting this very vulnerable group. “The outreach team will quite quickly build up a good picture of numbers and popular locations where rough sleepers are located but with the best will in the world they cannot cover every park bench or sea front quiet place. This is where the public can provide valuable information – that could literally save a life.”

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