Sheffield City Council and The Salvation army are working together to provide care and support for homeless residents in the city.
The pop-up accommodation will be made by Amazing Grace Spaces and will allow rough sleepers to be safe, warm and dry during the night, and are mainly aimed at people who have more complex needs so may struggle with being in hostel accommodation.
Supporting schemes like these allows Sheffield City Council to directly target at-risk individuals among the homeless community, providing shelter and support proactively – potentially reducing further, complex health needs or increased risk of criminality.
The Salvation Army currently runs two Lifehouses in the city, with one housing up to 57 males and the other up to 11 females. The Lifehouses are supported accommodation and the pods will run alongside them as part of a pilot scheme. Sheffield City Council will provide support for the users to assist them with moving into more permanent accommodation.
Andy Parkinson, Salvation Army service manager and manager of both the Charter Row and Lincoln Court Lifehouses, said:
“This style of accommodation is aimed at people who are not quite ready to come off the streets. They may have more complex needs such as mental health issues, offending history or addiction, which means they are not as well suited to a communal environment such as a hostel or they may have been excluded from services due to previous behaviour.
The pods provide a warm, dry and safe place for people to sleep, while support from the Salvation Army and the Council is helped to tackle some of the reasons why they may have become homeless in the first place, such as poor mental health, addiction, job loss or relationship breakdown.”
One client, who cannot be named, outlined the longer-term benefits of the scheme:
“It’s stopped me from being cold, it’s basically kept me and helped me find myself again.
Because of this I’m actually getting my own flat. I’m hoping to get back to trying to have a normal life.”
This scheme is a step forward in the short- and long-term welfare of the homeless community and, with similar schemes being adopted by other councils around the UK, could see a drastic change in the standard of living for all residents.