New multi-agency project to support homeless people in Chelmsford
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A multi-agency approach to supporting homeless people has been launched in Chelmsford.
The partnership initiative involves Chelmsford Town Centre Team, Chelmsford City Council, CHESS, Helping Hands, Open Road, the NHS, Phoenix Futures, Jobcentre Plus, and Peabody.
An intervention hub is being held every Monday from 2pm to 4pm at Chapter House in Cathedral Walk, where people who are homeless or rough sleeping can speak to representatives from each organisation to access support.
The aim is to help them secure housing and manage any issues with substance misuse.
The community-led initiative is supported by Essex Police Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet, who is the national policing lead for anti-social behaviour, homelessness and arson.
It is already in place in Colchester, and was developed by City of London Police, who saw a drop in the number of people begging in the Square Mile.
Chelmsford district commander Chief Inspector Steve Scott-Haynes said: “Six people attended our first intervention hub on Monday 24 February, which is really encouraging.
“We have been working closely with our partners to help the homeless community in Chelmsford and this initiative is another way in which we can offer support to people.
“We know that many are vulnerable and this can leave them open to exploitation by criminals including drug dealers.
“Our aim is to try and keep people safe and support them to get off the streets.”
Chelmsford City Councillor Jude Deakin, Cabinet Member for Safer Chelmsford, said it’s an innovative scheme that should benefit those in most need: “The intervention hub is a great project and having all of these agencies working together in a central location to offer support and assistance is a really positive step.
“We aim to provide more effective assistance than ever, to make a lasting difference to people’s lives here in Chelmsford.”