A former hotel in Southport could be converted into a temporary supported housing hostel.
This scheme is due to the growing demand for temporary accommodation for homeless people or people at risk of becoming homeless throughout Sefton and in particular the Southport and Formby area.
The former Club House Hotel, at 15 Leicester Street, could be converted to provide 19 bedrooms and ensuites.
A planning application has been submitted to Sefton Council.
New Start said: “New Start currently operates an existing temporary accommodation service for homeless people at Leyland Road, Southport and has done so since July 2015.
“Our work at Leyland Road led the local authority to contact New Start in March this year for help to provide emergency temporary accommodation solutions for homeless people during the lockdown period associated with Covid-19. The Government had issued a directive to all Local Authorities to close night shelters, which operated on a shared space basis, and to accommodate all rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping.
“At that point we had already secured 15 Leicester Street which was previously being used as hotel accommodation close to Southport town centre. Apart from some minor alterations this property was fit for purpose and we agreed to use the hotel for the duration of the Covid-19 lockdown period, on the basis that it was commissioned by the local authority for it’s homeless clients, and the provision became operational on the 30th of March.
“Following the 30th of March, we were approached again by the local authority and asked if we could provide a similar service from the Bold Hotel on Lord Street, which we agreed to. This service became operational on the 13th of April and since that time to date, we have provided additional emergency accommodation and support across both sites for more than 90 Sefton residents, who have become homeless either as a direct or indirect result of the pandemic.
“As an authority, Sefton has been aware for some time that there is insufficient temporary accommodation available particularly in the North of the borough, where we had seen increasing demand pressures on our scheme at Leyland Road.
“The Covid lockdown has resulted in a significant increase in homelessness, further highlighting the need for more temporary accommodation for homeless people.
“Further to extensive discussions with the local authority at a strategical level, we believe our organisation can provide an ongoing service at 15 Leicester Street, which can meet the requirements of the local authority in terms of their identified shortfall in temporary accommodation for Sefton residents, who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. “We believe our extensive experience delivering a range of accommodation based housing solutions for the homeless and other vulnerable client groups can provide reassurance to the local authority, local community and potential service users, that the project we propose to deliver will be both effective and well managed.”
The service will be staffed by a minimum of three members of staff of core staff and a Manager Monday to Friday during the day (8am to 6pm) with a minimum of two staff at all other times.
New Start said: “All our adult services are delivered in Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE). Many clients we work with have trouble managing their emotions, are often impulsive and do not consider the consequences of their actions. Some may be withdrawn, isolated and reluctant to engage or exhibit anti-social behaviour.
“The purpose of a PIE is to help staff understand where these behaviours are coming from and therefore, work more creatively and constructively with challenging behaviours.
“New Start’s Adult Services deliver quality accommodation and support provisions for vulnerable men, women and families with the aim of making a positive difference in the lives of some of the most disadvantaged individuals in our society.
“New Start believes that everybody deserves to live in safe, secure and needs-appropriate housing and feel enabled or empowered to fulfil their potential.”
The service would provide a therapeutic living environment with 15 units of Temporary Accommodation (up to 12-18 months) for Sefton people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. In addition there would be a Sit Up service providing up to four units of emergency accommodation which would be accessible for up to 72 hours whilst clients are assisted to find solutions
Those accessing the TA element of the service would be referred via Sefton Council’s Homeless Gateway which will have an initial assessment by staff at the service to get an understanding of the individual’s needs and will only be accepted for accommodation if their needs can be met by the service. Once accepted into the project the service user will be allocated a support worker, who will develop a bespoke support plan with them which will focus on identifying and addressing any underlying issues which have led them to becoming homeless.
New Start was established in 1997 as a not for profit organisation and was set up specifically to provide quality housing and support for vulnerable adults, families and young people. They employ more than 150 staff and provide supported housing and residential care for over 450 service users.