Homeless charity opens new intensive support service for rough sleepers

HARP, Southend’s homeless charity, has officially opened the final phase of a new 24-bed service providing accommodation for people who have previously been street homeless.

The project which has been developed in partnership with the city council, has been made possible thanks to a grant from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Department, Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP), and other grant making organisations including the Bradbury Foundation.

Bradbury Mansions, based in Southend, is one of two renovation projects that HARP is undertaking as part of this programme and is one of the first projects receiving the SHAP funding to be completed.

Vanessa Hemmings, HARP CEO said: “Being awarded a grant as part of the SHAP programme is great news for Southend city and for HARP. As well as providing a roof over someone’s head the funding allows us to employ specialist workers to help the people we house. Sadly, we see many people end up in a cycle of homelessness so this vital intensive support is needed to help people overcome their issues. We believe the service will really change lives.”

Glyn Halksworth, director of Regeneration, Housing and Regulatory Services at the city council says: “We are delighted to have worked with HARP to secure this funding to support people who are experiencing homelessness in the city.

“The new service is more than just somewhere to sleep. It is a safe, secure, supportive place for people to rebuild their lives. We’re grateful to staff at HARP for their hard work to get the service up and running”.

A resident, Stuart, who was one of the first people to move into the service this week said: “I’m am very grateful for being housed.Since I have moved in I feel I have more control over my mood. The groups are helping me prepare for when I move out, like cooking skills and managing my money.

“I have also started to volunteer to help out at HARP and this gives me a sense of purpose.”