Progressive Lifestyle Solutions Homeless Policy
1.1 This policy encompasses the activities and responsibilities of the Progressive Lifestyle Solutions in relation to homeless people. The Homeless Service is aimed at preventing, assessing and providing options together with support to people who present as homeless.
1.2 The Company will ensure the promotion of equal opportunities by publishing information and documentation in different languages and other formats such as large print, tape and Braille, as required.
1.3 The Company will ensure that no individual is discriminated against on grounds of sex or marital status, on racial grounds, or on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation, language or social origin, or other personal attributes, including beliefs, or opinions, such as religious beliefs or political opinions.
3. Objectives and Principles of the Policy
3.1 The overall aim of Homelessness Policy is to prevent and alleviate homelessness in a sensitive but effective manner.
3.2 The specific objectives and principles of Homelessness Policy are to:
- Provide a re-settlement service for people who present themselves as homeless
- Provide accommodation on a temporary and long term basis
- provide advice and information free of charge, and referral to an advocacy service if required;
- identify needs for care and support and endeavour to provide the appropriate care and support to prevent homelessness and the reoccurrence of homelessness; and
- provide solutions to homelessness that are sustainable in the longer term.
- provide services that adhere to the principles of equal opportunities;
- implement detailed procedures and agreed practices uniformly across the service;
- ensure all people affected by homelessness are treated at all times with dignity and respect;
- ensure staff training is provided and that staff are equipped to carry out the roles expected of them;
- give informed and realistic choices regarding the availability of accommodation that meets the clients housing and support needs; and
- work with a range of agencies to provide the best service avavilbe.
4. The Legal Framework
4.1 The Company will ensure that the Policy complies with current legislation, promotes good practice and has regard to the Code of Guidance on Homelessness 2005 (Code of Guidance) and the Prevention of Homelessness Guidance 2009.
4.2 The Company will comply with all the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. The Company will ensure that personal data is processed fairly and lawfully, that it is used for the purpose it was intended and that only relevant information is used. The Company will ensure that information held is accurate, and where necessary kept up to date and that appropriate measures are taken that prevent the unauthorised or unlawful use of any personal information given.
5. Service Standards
5.1. The Company provides a centralised specialist homelessness team within the Office based in Liverpool. Information and advice is also provided by partner agencies.
5.1.2 The Company in providing services in respect of homelessness undertakes such activities (but not exclusively) as:
- Advice, information and assessment;
- Temporary Accommodation;
- Tenancy Support;
- Working in partnership with other agencies;
- Referral to appropriate Health Care Services; and
5.1.3 The Company will work with other services and voluntary organisations working with homeless people to provide a range of facilities and services to meet the needs of homeless people.
- Hostels to receive and support;
- An out of hours emergency service;
- A range of temporary and supported accommodation;
- An assessment of needs;
- Access to the service for homeless people through Council Access Points; and
- Referral process and protocols with other agencies
5.2 Handling of Applications/Referrals
Contact with referral agencies – Progressive Lifestyles Solutions will work closely with referral agencies to help homeless people across the Merseyside (north Liverpool) area.
All housing vacancies will be advertised within the centres.
Telephone referral contact– all referrals to Progressive Lifestyles Solutions will be made via an initial telephone contact made to a 24 hour referral line.
Appointment booked – An appointment will be booked with an advisor who will complete initial paperwork.
Moving in date – One the moving date the client will be met by the House warden and given an induction and shown around the premises.
Step 1 : To be referred to Progressive Lifestyles Solutions the client must be willing to complete all forms, sign all paperwork and be willing to sign up to the programme to help them with resettlement and rehabilitation. Be willing to complete a background check and get 2 references.
Step 2: Once referred to Progressive Lifestyles Solutions the client must abide by the rules and regulations set out and given to them on the induction on their moving in date, if not Progressive Lifestyles Solutions have the right to withdraw support.
Step3: The client must be willing to work with Progressive Lifestyles Solutions on the resettlement and rehabilitation programme that Progressive Lifestyles Solutions have in place.
5.2.1 Avoidance of Screening
The company will avoid the screening of applicants and ensure that no homeless applicant is refused the right to make a homeless application. Care will be taken to ensure receptionists or general enquiry staff do not carry out any informal ‘first screening’ of applicants, either deliberately or unwittingly. Screening is defined as preventing, deterring or discouraging applicants from making an application. Staff will be given appropriate training. People will be made aware of their legal right to apply through publicity, posters, internet etc.
The interviewing officer will ensure that an applicant has a private interview at a time and location convenient both for the applicant and their personal representative or, if required, interpreter. An applicant can request an interview with an officer of the same sex and will be treated in a courteous and non-judgmental manner.
Applicants will be encouraged to disclose all relevant information to assist in the assessment of an application. Any information provided will be used in a non-prejudicial way.
A written record of the interview in an appropriate form including Braille, translation or large print will be provided if required. A follow-up interview will be arranged to review the progress of the applicant’s homelessness application within 4 weeks of the initial interview.
All information provided by an applicant will be treated in accordance with The Company Confidentiality Policy.
5.4.1 Reasonableness of occupation
People are homeless if they have accommodation but it is unreasonable for them to continue to occupy it. The Council realises what may be reasonable for one person may not necessarily be reasonable for another.
In reaching a decision, the Council will consider each case on its individual merits, including (but not exhaustively):
- The health and safety of the household;
- Any other statutory duty the Council has towards the household;
- Overcrowding and condition of existing accommodation i.e. unfitness dampness and condensation, etc;.
- Information already obtained from medical applications and assistance sought from the Medical Advisor;
- Fear of domestic abuse; and
- Fear of violence.
When arranging accommodation, the Company will ensure that accommodation is appropriate to the circumstances of the applicant. The Companyl will ensure that applicants are advised of their right to refuse an offer of temporary accommodation and of the procedure for appealing against decisions. This includes the decision to refuse a particular property.
Once in temporary accommodation the Company will ensure that contact is maintained, moves to alternative temporary accommodation kept to a minimum and assistance given with health and education registration.
6 Complaints –
The Company operates a Complaints Procedure that is available to any applicant. Details of the Complaints Procedure can be obtained from Office or Support worker.
Paul Martin – Director – 0151 221 9438 (Direct Dial)
Shaun Cooke – 0151 298 9220
Stuart Swaine – Senior Support Worker – 07885 995 840
William Speers – Support Worker – 07885 995 839
Barry Kelly – Support Worker – 07840 199 007
Address: 47 Walton Road
Liverpool L4 4AF