Our hostels provide a lifeline to single people experiencing homelessness who do not fall within the statutory duty of care of local authorities. As such, we take referrals from anyone over the age of 18. We do not tolerate discrimination and will help people regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or faith. Staff are trained to ensure both clients and colleagues are treated with dignity and respect.
Unlike some service providers, we have always believed in being inclusive in taking referrals including those with significant support needs. Around 20% of those accepted admit to having alcohol dependency issues and a similar number having drug dependency. Some 20% claim to suffer from mental health problems. Referrals are mainly from the local authority but also from health agencies, probation services, social service and other service providers. Although we support those with alcohol / drug issues, clients will not be allowed into the hostel if their behaviour is judged to put others at risk.
As well as providing a safe, secure place to stay, residents are supported by their own personal Housing Support Worker. Clients work with their support worker to identify specific support needs. Housing Support Workers engage with clients to improve health outcomes and prepare them for independent living and employment. Ultimately the goal is that all clients are able to move on to sustainable, independent living and thus ensure they don't go back to suffering homelessness. To this end, we work in partnership with relevant external agencies.
Stevenage Haven, Stevenage
Our new emergency hostel in Stevenage opened in May 2015. Since 2010, our management committee has been working towards the development of this, purpose-built facility. The milestone £2.3 million development has been supported by the Homes and Community Agency, North Herts Homes and Stevenage Borough Council. In the artist's impression of the development site, the new hostel is the building with the green roof. We have secured a lease for the building from North Herts Homes for a period of 25 years. The hostel has 40 single, en-suite rooms, a dining room, lounge area and consultation rooms for staff to meet with clients. The provision of individual rooms enables greater flexibility in helping those with challenging support needs. The hostel is located on the outskirts of the Old Town close to local shops, the town centre as well as bus and rail services.
The new hostel is sited next to our previous hostel, Chris Foster House. This is being refurbished to accommodate client training facilities / IT suite and a training kitchen. It will also include improved office space for staff, meeting rooms and a one-bed move-on flat.
The address of the new hostel is 6, Ditchmore Lane, Stevenage, SG1 3LJ.
North Herts Sanctuary, Hitchin
Since July 2014, Stevenage Haven has managed the staff and services at this hostel in Hitchin. The contract period is currently five years. Trustees of the charity North Herts Sanctuary retain responsibility for the maintenance of the building and related fundraising activities. The hostel houses up to 17 clients in four dormitories. There are showers, wash facilities and a laundry, a communal living / dining area and IT suite. Meals are available on the same basis as at the Stevenage hostel.
The level of referrals is such that, currently, there is no provision for females; they are referred to our hostel in Stevenage or another service provider.
Our on-going development plans for the North Herts area are progressing, as it recognised that the existing site is not fit for purpose. A new site has been identified and work is continuing with developers and associated partners to achieve our objective of providing suitable accommodation for our clients.
The address of the hostel is 25 Nightingale Road, Hitchin, SG5 1QU.