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Tackling homelessness across Oxfordshire

Univ Aspire News Sept 2019Over the last year, Aspire has significantly stepped up our work in response to Oxfordshire’s homeless crisis. As well as providing employment support to help formerly homeless people leave homelessness behind them for good, we have launched homelessness prevention and housing projects. We’d like to share with you some of the exceptional outcomes that we’ve achieved and outline ways to get involved with Aspire’s life changing work.

In 2018-19, our homelessness programmes supported 364 vulnerable people across Oxfordshire

45% would have been homeless without support from Aspire

78 people directly supported into secure housing

93% gained new knowledge and skills about managing their housing

Preventing homelessness across Oxfordshire

During 2018-19, Aspire was part of a multi-agency homelessness prevention project known as “Trailblazer”. This project provided community-based support, advice and mentoring to people at risk of homelessness at the earliest possible stage, before they reached crisis point. Our team supported over 350 people to help protect them from becoming homeless. As the number of people rough sleeping and at risk of homelessness continues to grow, this approach has never been more important.

“Aspire and the Trailblazer cause is and does change lives. Not only for the immediate effects of homelessness and housing crisis but holistically, ensuring its service users are cared for in all manner of ways. Barry, Nicola and Jessica have not only been a lifeline, but my friends, my support and have given invaluable guidance through the worst year of my life. “ – Sam, Trailblazer client – 2019

Initial funding for Trailblazer is due to end in September 2019. In recognition of the exceptional outcomes from the project and the importance of the preventative approach to homelessness, Aspire has committed to continuing a core prevention service.

Housing programmes

Aspire was proud to launch a new project alongside Oxford City Council and A2Dominion providing supported housing for former rough sleepers who normally wouldn’t be able to access local services. We provided intensive employment support to 11 people, including V.

Before engaging with Aspire, V had slept under a bridge for six years. We were able to give V secure housing alongside wrap-around employment support. He has now been able to find employment as a blacksmith, saved for a deposit and is moving into private accommodation. Aspire are continuing this project to provide supported housing for ex-offenders from September 2019 onwards.

Aspire is keen to expand our housing activity across Oxfordshire and in 2019 launched a Housing First project in South Oxfordshire in partnership with South Oxfordshire District Council and Soha Housing. This project provides people with complex housing needs with access to secure accommodation alongside wrap-around support, helping them to make lasting changes to their lives.

If you would like to help us increase our innovative homelessness activity across Oxfordshire, we’d love to hear from you. You can donate to Aspire, fundraise for us or help spread the word about our work. For more information please email helen@aspireoxford.co.uk

Find out more about Aspire by visiting aspireoxford.co.uk or on our Univ in the Community page.

Published: 11 September 2019

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