Prince William launches major new homelessness programme in Brixton, showing links between housing and health

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The Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales today announced that Lambeth would be one of six pilot areas for their ‘Homewards Partnership’ programme.

Prince William launched the initiative at the Mosaic Clubhouse in Brixton – highlighting the importance of mental health interventions in preventing homelessness. The Mosaic Clubhouse supports Lambeth residents who are living with a mental health condition.

The Royal Foundation’s five-year, locally led programme aims to demonstrate that by working together, it is possible to end homelessness – making it rare, brief and unrepeated. Lambeth and five other areas across the UK will pilot a locally led coalition of committed individuals, organisations and businesses who will work together to create and deliver a tailored plan delivering solutions to prevent and end homelessness.

Partners in each area will be supported with access to new partners from the public, private and voluntary and community sector, funding of up to £500,000 and a local lead to lead change on the ground.

Homewards will reach beyond the six locations, with findings from what works in Lambeth and the other five pilot areas being shared widely to kickstart a movement to end homelessness across the UK and internationally.

Prince William said: “In a modern and progressive society, everyone should have a safe and secure home, be treated with dignity and given the support they need. Through Homewards, I want to make this a reality and over the next five years, give people across the UK hope that homelessness can be prevented when we collaborate.

“I am fortunate to have seen first-hand the tireless work of people and organisations across the sector, the tangible impact their efforts can have and what can be done when communities are able to focus on preventing homelessness, rather than managing it.”

HRH the Prince of Wales speaking at the the Mosaic Clubhouse in Brixton
HRH the Prince of Wales speaking at Mosaic Clubhouse in Brixton

Mosaic Clubhouse in Brixton is a vital part of the Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance approach to supporting people with mental health conditions and is funded by the local NHS and Lambeth Council through the Lambeth Together Local Care Partnership.

The Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance is part of the work South East London’s Integrated Care System that is delivering integrated health and social care across six boroughs.

Andrew Eyres, who attended today’s event in his role as Strategic Director for Integrated Health and Care for NHS South East London Integrated Care Board (SEL ICB) and Lambeth Council, said:

“The Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance is an award winning partnership between the NHS, a range of council services and voluntary organisations that supports people with mental health conditions and offers practical support with housing issues. It is gratifying that Prince William launched the Foundation’s very welcome Homewards programme at a facility at the heart of that work.”

“We know that homelessness has a dreadful impact on people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing and on their life chances. We and our partners will seize this opportunity to develop innovative approaches to preventing homelessness while focussing on groups that are often overlooked, such as young people and women who experience domestic abuse.”

Mosaic Clubhouse acts as an information hub, providing access to expert advice and support around the physical health and wellbeing of people with mental health conditions. Many of the people attending its ‘Evening Sanctuary’ each night are referred by GPs, psychiatric liaison teams in local emergency departments, community mental health teams and the 24-hour mental health line operated by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

The NHS, council and voluntary sector partners have also developed innovative approaches to breaking the link between mental health conditions and homelessness in the boroughs of Greenwich, Southwark, Lewisham, Bexley and Bromley.

NHS South East London also funds a homeless specialist medical respite care service in Lambeth and three other South East London boroughs. The centre provides short-term accommodation so homeless people with a physical condition or injury with a history of mental illness and problems around substance misuse can convalesce. It provides both medical care and other specialist services.

Specialist homeless workers funded by the NHS South East London also provide specialist knowledge and support to acute hospitals across South East London. This Homeless Out of Hospital Service also provides hotel accommodation so homeless patients can be discharged. The specialist homeless workers also work with the British Red Cross to provide resettlement support.

NHS South East London jointly funds the London-wide Find and Treat team with their counterparts across the capital. These professionals provide outreach services on the streets of London, caring for homeless people and other vulnerable adults. This includes the diagnosis and treatment of TB, screening and vaccinations.

Lambeth Together health and care partners set out earlier this year their plans to ensure that  people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless have improved health.

Read more about Lambeth Together Homeless Health Programme in Lambeth’s five-year health and care plan, Our Health, Our Lambeth

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