North Herts Sanctuary improves on services

THE number of people moving into permanent housing from a homeless hostel in Hitchin has nearly doubled in the past three months, following an expansion of day services offered by the charity.

North Herts Sanctuary offers shelter and support to the homeless whilst providing them with skills to achieve independent living.

Now, 85 per cent of its service users are moving on to permanent housing provided by the council, compared to 46 per cent before that.

“We’re helping more people to get ready for the world,” said Karen Dean who works at the sanctuary.

“It’s a significant improvement and we are pleased with it.

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“It means people can go and live independently rather than being moved around a lot.”

The change is thought to be due to an expansion of a daytime program which addresses the health and social needs of those staying at the hostel.

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Support workers assess them on a range of issues including drug and alcohol dependence, mental health and relationship problems.

They are then provided counselling, advice and a means of referral for treatment during the day.

“We have extended our day services to meet our goal to help users stabilise their lives an provide them with the skills and support to achieve independent living,” said project manager Gboyega Adetunji.

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