Local authority helps house rough sleepers and homeless during lockdown

In response to the national COVID-19 pandemic, 20 men and women from North East Derbyshire who were sleeping rough or made homeless, have been housed and supported in the Twin Oaks Hotel in Palterton. 

North East Derbyshire District Council took swift action to ensure that residents were not only protected from COVID-19, but giving them access to mental health support and rehabilitation programmes to give them the support and help they needed to move on successfully into settled housing.

Everyone accommodated in the hotel has access to a joined-up treatment and support service that helps guests to address their drug and alcohol use, and receive help with any physical or mental health issues.

Some of the groups that are involved in the project have previously handed out food and tents to people on the streets but have now adapted their service to help the rough sleepers in the hotel instead.

Since moving into the hotel eleven weeks ago, most of the people who had been sleeping rough, including many of the most entrenched rough sleepers, have made huge, positive changes in their lives and said they want to make the most of this opportunity to receive the help, support and housing they need.

Strong and effective partnership relationships between North East Derbyshire District Council, Derbyshire County Council, Chesterfield, Bolsover, Amber Valley and Derbyshire Dales Councils has meant homeless people in the wider Derbyshire area are receiving the support they so desperately need through this pandemic.

A wide range of other services and organisations including Pathways of Chesterfield, P3, Police, NHS and Public Health England and Probation teams have also been assisting to make sure people are off the streets and into safe accommodation.

Leader of North East Derbyshire District Council, Councillor Martin Thacker, MBE, said, “It is an incredible achievement what has been done to help those who were homeless in our district. The collaborative work between Derbyshire local authorities and emergency services has resulted in successfully accommodating and supporting those who were extremely vulnerable in the District”.

“The level of support we and our partners are able to offer is meaning guests are able to access the help they need to address any physical or mental health issues, enabling them to use this opportunity to turn their lives around and successfully move on to settled housing”.

After a busy first phase of moving people into the hotel and stabilising them, the focus of the support teams is concentrating on where they will live when they leave the hotel, making sure their follow on accommodation is suitable for their needs.

95% of those currently being shielded in the hotel have a recovery and move on plan in place for when the provision comes to an end.