When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Bristol City Council saw a unique opportunity to join-up support services across homelessness, learning, employment, life skills and health support. Rough sleepers in Bristol with complex needs could finally access the specialised and tailored support they needed to gain essential skills and secure employment.
Prior to the pandemic, support available to rough sleepers in Bristol was often disjointed and failed to support people with multiple and complex needs. But when the pandemic broke out and local authorities were tasked with accommodating all rough sleepers, Bristol City Council saw a unique opportunity. They set about creating a holistic, multi-agency project to bring together the range of services and teams which would end up outliving its initial mandate.
The Move In Move On Move Up Support for Rough Sleepers project team developed a new model which blended elements of learning, employability and health support into a person-centred approach. Each participant receives bespoke support depending on their needs, whether that’s advice on managing debt, understanding tenancy, providing work and interview clothes, or managing stress and anxiety.
So far, one quarter of the 130 participants have secured paid work and over one third are undertaking employability focussed training. The project not only helps people into employment but helps them develop skills and consider employment routes into jobs and careers they are passionate about. It’s been a great success and has gained recognition by Government who are now exploring how it could be replicated in other cities across the country.
Igor, one of the participants in the programme, said:
“I came to the UK six years ago, having been a victim of discrimination and modern slavery. I’m deaf and when I came into contact with the project I had very little British or International Sign Language and was rough sleeping. The Move In, Move On, Move Up project has helped me communicate using sign language, and with securing a job with Amazon. My life really has turned around.”