Mobile Justlife involves bringing our services to individuals experiencing homelessness, rather than asking them to come to us. When we opened the Justlife Centre in Manchester, we focused primarily on the Openshaw and Ardwick areas because they had a high density of unsupported temporary accommodation. A recent research initiative enabled us to map out UTAs across Greater Manchester, bringing to light additional UTAs housing hundreds of residents.
Residents we spoke to confided in us about feeling isolated, having low levels of wellbeing, and facing various issues with their living situation that compounded the decline in their mental and physical health. Many residents felt limited in the support they could access, and all the individuals we consulted wanted more support.
A new, mobile model of operating was born out of this need and led to a restructuring of our services to be more flexible, taking them to the places these newly-identified residents are living in. This has enabled more residents to access the support we provide, including:
- Finding longer-term suitable accommodation
- Preventing evictions from their current tenancy
- Facilitating access to financial and benefits support
- Encouraging engagement with local community activities
- Empowering residents to speak out about their experiences
- Connecting residents to specialist services to help address their wider needs e.g. mental health and substance misuse
We also collaborate with temporary accommodation landlords, who play a key part in providing the best possible support to residents. We work alongside them, supporting them in engaging with residents, and overcoming any issues that arise. Justlife also coordinates a quarterly landlord forum where landlords can share ideas and insights with one another and leaders from the local council, working together to develop collective solutions.
The support provided by Justlife kept me sane because I'm able to keep my head above water.Justlife client
Our mobile Justlife model is a way of engaging those who can be difficult to reach. Visiting a new centre can be quite daunting when people don’t know what to expect. Some may not feel well, or able enough to walk to the drop-in locations. Supporting people in the environment that they’re used to can make accessing support easier for them, and helps to build trust in our services that increases the likelihood of them engaging in the longer-term support we offer. These interactions, in the place they live in, could be the first step on their journey to addressing more complex needs.
During the COVID-19 crisis, we have shifted our focus from moving people out of UTA, towards supporting them to live there in a healthy, safe, and stable way. We’ve been meeting their immediate needs by delivering food, cleaning products, and supplies to help maintain their wellbeing (e.g. games, puzzle books, radios); and providing safety advice tailored to their living environment such as how to manage shared spaces and develop kitchen rotas.
76 clients / professionals identified an improvement in physical or mental health, and 25 identified an improvement in their substance misuse.
physical / mental health appointments were arranged or attended by a health engagement worker.
In Brighton, we've provided health engagement work to over 700 people, resulting in a 33% reduction in unplanned hospital admissions and a 47% reduction in hospital readmission rates.
63 of our Brighton clients reported an improvement in their motivation to take responsibility for themselves going forward.
Since February 2020, Justlife has conducted 246 visits to UTAs across Greater Manchester, supporting over 170 residents.
135 residents receive regular support including weekly deliveries of food and wellbeing packs.
1273 interventions, including 590 housing actions, have been taken on behalf of 70 residents.
They are a lifesaver, simple as”, “I was in trouble. Rents built up, they helped me with my benefits. When it comes to mental health, the suicidal thoughts went away…There are other subtle things. You tend to drink less because you have this routine in your life.Justlife client