The centre assists them with accessing medical services, finding accommodation, making benefit applications (which often requires access to a computer) and liaising with landlords, the police, solicitors etc.
In 2017, with the help of the Foundation’s support 296 different individuals either rough sleepers, hidden homeless (sofa surfers) or vulnerably housed attended the sessions. As part of the project an addiction community team nurse along with a mental health nurse supported beneficiaries with addiction and mental health problems.
During the sessions the charity carried out Hepatitus C tests identifying and referring infected homeless people. They also provided lifesaving training on how to use Prenoxad Injection kits which can save the life of a person in an opiate overdose. The kits were used 14 times in 2017!
Routes to Roots also liaised with Healthwatch Dorset to provide dental health check-ups as many health problems such as heart conditions, diabetes and pneumonia can be exacerbated by poor dental health.
Elaine, a coordinator at the charity shared:
Thank you for your support during this year. A substantial grant like this does enable us to plan for the long-term and it is long-term support that is needed by our clients as, even when accommodated, they need help to maintain their accommodation and handle other issues which contributed to their homelessness. Also, long-term sustainability would have made us more attractive as a centre for outreach work providers.