Homelessness and complex needs

We deliver services to some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised people in our communities. Many have multiple and complex needs.

People coming to us may have mental health, substance misuse or physical health needs. Many will have experienced complex trauma and abuse whilst others may have histories of rough sleeping, relationship breakdown or offending.

Wherever people may have come from and whatever their history, we work with each person as an individual, supporting them to address their needs, take control and make forwards with their lives.

One of our customers

In 2017-2018 our homelessness services supported more than 1,100 people to begin moving forward with their lives.

Our services

We currently support people with experiences of homelessness and complex needs through a wide range of services, including:

These offer short-term, intensive support to individuals, referred to us from local authorities, who may have been sleeping rough or found themselves homeless. Our teams identify and assess their housing support needs, deliver short-term support interventions and help to identify appropriate move-on options.

Most individuals we work with are helped within our supported housing services. This includes accommodation-based hostel and floating support services.

Individuals in our hostels may have come directly from the streets, prison or hospital. They may have found themselves homeless following a relationship or housing breakdown.

We have developed our hostels to provide Psychologically Informed Environments, that take into account the psychological needs of the individuals who live there, many of whom will have experienced complex trauma.

We support each person to get back on their feet, access the help, advice and psychological support they need, and move on to their own accommodation within two years, usually in the private rented sector.

We support people in their own homes, helping them to manage and maintain their tenancies, preventing a return to homelessness. We support them to build skills, get into training or find work, access local services and be part of their local communities.

We also provide properties through the Clearing House as part of the Rough Sleepers Initiative, that people with histories of rough sleeping can access alongside floating support.

These specialist services work with women who are often very vulnerable and have been at significant risk. Many will have experienced complex trauma, including domestic, physical or sexual abuse or exploitation.

Our teams support each individual sensitively with care and compassion, informed by principles of Trauma Informed Care.

These services support individuals who may have spent years, even decades rough sleeping. They may have a long history of multiple exclusions or accommodation breakdown and be increasingly frail or in poor health.

Our teams help them to engage with primary and secondary healthcare, access treatment services and where appropriate, support end of life care.

Our approach

We have over 40 years experience of supporting people to make choices, take control and move forwards with their lives through our Look Ahead approach, providing services that are personalised, co-produced and delivered in partnership with health.

Across our homelessness and complex needs services we do this through:

Tick icon Flexible personalised support, treating each person with genuine empathy, care and compassion

Tick icon Pyschologically Informed Environments, shaped by individuals’ histories, experiences and needs

Tick icon A focus on stability, building life skills and challenging negative patterns of behaviour

Tick icon Supporting appropriate move-on and ongoing tenancy sustainment

Tick icon Help to improve physical as well as mental health

Tick icon Partnership working to minimise harm, support recovery and break offending cycles

Allan's story

“When I moved to Look Ahead, I knew straight away that this was the place where I could focus on my recovery”

Read Allan's story