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Outreach support for Essex homeless

4 January 2021

Outreach teams in Essex are providing vital support to homeless people across the winter months thanks to specialist funding.

""Thurrock homeless service’s outreach team Natalie Harris-Wainer, Mandy Monk, Rebecca Bye and Keira Harrison

Staff at Sanctuary Supported Living’s Thurrock Homelessness Service recently secured a grant from the organisation’s Covid-19 funding pot to deliver a Christmas meal and gift to local rough sleepers, just before Christmas Eve.

The team works with rough sleepers within the Thurrock Borough who need support in finding accommodation and applying for benefits. Their hope is that they can help many of them make a better start to the new year. Gaining ID and registering rough sleepers on the homeless register is the start of a new chance to secure accommodation and a brighter future.

One rough sleeper said: “If it wasn’t for [the team] I don’t know what would have happened to me.”

Another added: “I pray for the team and thank them for everything they have done for me.”

"If it wasn’t for [the team] I don’t know what would have happened to me."

One rough sleeper

Keira Harrison, Local Service Manager, said: “Despite the additional pressures that Covid-19 has put on everyone, we have been committed to going out and visiting rough sleepers, supporting them to find their own accommodation so they can live more comfortably.”

Since taking over the service last September, the team at Sanctuary Supported Living has made every effort to make the service as successful as possible. As well as providing outreach support to rough sleepers, Thurrock homelessness service provides short term accommodation with support to more than 45 vulnerable people, as well as supporting young parents who are at risk of homelessness.

People can be referred to the service by Thurrock Council and a range of local agencies, with self-referral available for the floating support.

For more information about Sanctuary Supported Living’s homelessness services, read residents’ stories or search for a homelessness service near you.

Download a PDF version (139KB) of this story.

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