Homelessness – Quartet’s Proactive, Preventative Action
Intent on diminishing the need for the ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’, Quartet has been focusing on preventative action, directing funds towards addressing the multiple causes of homelessness. This is proactiveness at its best – a demonstration of Quartet using their expertise to identify need, source a solution provider and make a difference through their strategic channelling of funds.
In 2017 Quartet gave £345,799.74 to 55 projects under the Housing & Homeless theme.
The smallest grant was for just £100. The largest was £62,500.
Taking action before homelessness becomes an issue is vital. With the fundamental aim of building stronger communities, though improving skills and confidence, Quartet funds groups providing mental health support and advice on addiction or abuse to vulnerable people. This support spans age groups, gender and ethnicity.
One example of such focused giving is Quartet’s work with 1625 Independent People. This organisation provides mentoring for the benefit of homeless people in the area. Their mentoring assists with mental health, reduces isolation and provides direction and a source of help and advice. They received a grant from Quartet of £10,000 to pay for their 12-month programme. A further £30,000 was given in May, to ensure vulnerable young people leaving care are still supported.
The Bristol Drugs Project received a £10,000 grant from Quartet late last year, to provide a further year’s support to sustain a programme of mentoring children and young people aged 8-16 years, whose parents or carer has an alcohol or drug problem. BDP currently uses a recognised tool (Outcome Rating Scale) for young people to rate areas of their lives in domains of Family, School, Me, Everything. The majority of young people demonstrate improvement in these areas of their lives after help from The Bristol Drugs Project.
The group, Caring in Bristol, was given £7,500 in March, to pilot working with local businesses to offer a free breakfast and space for befriending sessions in the early morning.
The intercultural therapy centre, NAOS, received £15,800 last July, to deliver one-to-one therapy to disadvantaged young people, aged 19-25 years; including young offenders, young people at risk of offending, young people, young people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction and young people at risk of homelessness. Inspirational stories are abundant. One such story is that of a young person, aged 22, who was referred to NAOS by a housing provider. He’d been through the care system and had no parental support. His life was hindered by anxiety, depression and suicide idealisation. At the end of his therapy he was managing his day to day living responsibilities, working full time and with a trip booked to undertake a course abroad. He said:
“NAOS supported me to not just survive but to live again. I literally didn’t want to be alive and now I have a job and friends that I work with and am about to travel to Australia.”
Earlier this year, Second Step Housing received a grant of £15,000 to build the skills and capacity of front line staff in their homelessness accommodation services, to engage more effectively with clients with complex mental health issues and improve outcomes. Staff supervision and reflective practice will support the team to make the project a success. The overall aim is for vulnerable people be able to move on in a sustainable way towards independence. By assisting people to move on, this will make the High Support service available for more homeless people to move into and benefit from.