Herts charity launches housing support service for ex-offenders

PUBLISHED: 14:01 03 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:57 03 November 2019

Druglink have been providing life-saving treatment for people with substance misuse issues for over 35 years. Picture: Gene Weatherley

Druglink have been providing life-saving treatment for people with substance misuse issues for over 35 years. Picture: Gene Weatherley

Gene Genie Photography

Hertfordshire-based charity Druglink has launched a new housing service to support ex-offenders.

David Lloyd, Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner. Picture: Gene WeatherleyDavid Lloyd, Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner. Picture: Gene Weatherley

Oxygen Gateway - which is currently in a 24-month pilot period - provides 11 beds of accommodation and offers personalised support for male offenders released from custody, for up to one year.

Druglink is aiming to work with up to 30 clients within the first 24 months and have already seen significant outcomes - including a client who has started an apprenticeship in engineering, and another applying to become a peer mentor.

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Wendy Nee, director of care and support at Druglink, said: "We recognise the importance of stable accommodation in an individual's reintegration into society and recovery from issues such as substance misuse and offending.

"Gateway has shown the biggest turnaround in client behaviour across all of Druglink's services. Residents are keen to change their lives and give back to the local community."

Ex-offenders who leave prison with nowhere to live are a third more likely to commit more crime. Repeated studies have shown that providing stable housing for ex-offenders can reduce the chance of reoffending.

Druglink - registered in 1986 - provide life-saving rehabilitation programmes for people with substance misuse issues, mental health problems and other addictions.

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