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- In Practice
Short term B&B placements for unplanned rehab leavers
ORGANISATION: Equinox Care
To help prevent homelessness and enable other support needs to be met when clients leave rehab without an accommodation and prescribing plan.
To provide emergency accommodation and other basic items to clients who leave rehab in an unplanned way - allowing time for the Trailblazer Homelessness Prevention Outreach Practitioner to either:
- reconnect the client with rehab services or
- support the client to access alternative accommodation if they are not able to return to rehab.
The aim of this is to be able to re-integrate clients who have left rehab in an unplanned way back into residential rehab or to be able to formulate a housing plan to prevent homelessness and other associated risks to health.
The funding will be available to place clients into B&B accommodation for up to one week and to support them with the following:
1. To re-access rehab (if possible) and prevent relapse into substance misuse
2. To allow workers time to formulate a homeless application and prove Priority Need
3. If clients are not Priority Need then to allow time for alternative accommodation to be organised where possible
4. To give clients a safe place to stay whilst measures can be put in place to meet their prescribing needs including Prenoxad, titration onto OST medication and to put harm minimisation ideas into practice
5. For workers from all agencies in the City to be able to have some time to assess and plan to address homelessness, substance misuse and other complex needs.
The impact upon other services and the community including A&E, the police, homelessness agencies, substance misuse services of allowing this vulnerable group of people with no provision to meet their immediate needs has already been identified as costly both in terms of further complications to the needs of the client group and financially to other services.
There would be a need to provide a staff member and to pay for B&B accommodation and some of the cost of the B&B placement could then be reclaimed via housing benefit claims on behalf of the clients.
This project would achieve the following:
1. Help to prevent homelessness by providing an emergency stop-gap in between leaving rehab in an unplanned way and housing
2. Where possible to allow time and space for the client to be able to return to residential rehab where that was permitted
3. Prevent people becoming re-entrenched in street life
4. Permit substance misuse services to provide interventions such as prescribing and motivational interventions
5. Allow clients a stable place to stay for up to one week where various needs could be met including healthcare
6. Reduce A&E admissions
7. Reduce drug related deaths
Equinox have been allocated some funding from DCLG to fund a post for two years with a remit of preventing homelessness when clients leave rehab in an unplanned way (and possibly prison also) and so any grant given would be used to purely provide B&B placements to clients and not for staff time.
To date systems mapping exercises that included mapping clients’ journeys through treatment has occurred as part of a Systems Change Project with Lankelly Chase and cause and effect diagrams have been produced which demonstrate the negative cost implications to the wider system due to homelessness when clients leave rehab with no plan.
This simple idea would allow services time to respond to a clients needs at a time of high vulnerability and give services some space to provide for multiple and complex needs of the clients, including their homelessness.