The Targeted Referrals project is all about creating a warm handover into and out of temporary accommodation. Support workers work in partnership with the client’s Offender Manager to address each person’s individual care needs and help them overcome any barriers to adjusting to life outside of prison. This could involve supporting them in:
- Navigating the Universal Credit system
- Budgeting and maintaining rent payments
- Accessing mental health or substance misuse services
- Finding longer-term housing
- Building positive relationships with their landlords
Offender Managers are always kept in the loop regarding what work has been done with their client and if there are any concerns. We also collaborate with the Probation Housing Lead, who has connections with private rented properties, enabling support workers to reach those who are more difficult to house due to serious offences.
By building resilience and independence, the project aims to maximise people’s chances of moving away from homelessness, and minimise their chances of returning to prison.
Beneficiaries have full control over the extent to which they engage with their support worker. We are not there to enforce or dictate, and do everything we can to be flexible to every individual we work with.
All beneficiaries of this project have noted an improvement to their health, wellbeing, and independent living skills, and almost a third have been able to secure longer-term housing, but the benefits of this go beyond the individual and can actually save public money by reducing contact with the probation service, prisons and the Ministry of Justice.