offers a total of 18 self-contained flats within two mental health schemes. Possible residents with a mental health issue are referred to the scheme because they are unlikely to keep an independent tenancy or have a history of homelessness. The support provided is varied and is tailored to meet the specific needs of individuals. It can include:
· One-to-one meetings
· Help finding other organisations that can provide more specialist forms of support or help
· Support or representation at meetings with carers, support providers or other structured forums as required.
· Advice around preparing a budget and help managing money
· Practical help and advice when starting a tenancy, e.g. arranging electricity, gas and telephone connections, getting furniture, completing forms.
· Low level informal counselling
· Planning for a move into fully independent accommodation and ongoing support when people move out of specialised accommodation into a general tenancy arrangement.
The two schemes offer residents the chance to develop their life skills and tenancy management skills before moving on to more independent accommodation.
A dedicated Supported Housing Officer works closely with care coordinators and social workers to make sure residents receive the right support, help and guidance they need.
There is a very clear process for all referrals to the Mental Health Specialist Accommodation that is available. Allocations to the schemes are made in accordance with a Service Level Agreement with SEPT (South Essex Partnership Trust and Bedford Borough).
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
1. Be over 18 years and be diagnosed with a mental illness that has resulted in the individual requiring a supported living environment.
2. Must have a full, up-to-date Care Plan Programme Approach that documents their needs and risks, and a Care Coordinator.
3. In need of ongoing support or short-term housing-related support and is unlikely to maintain their independence without it.
4. Should not be suffering from organic dementia or other problems normally associated with the ageing process.
5. Must demonstrate a housing need and priority will be given to those with a link to the Bedford Borough area.
6. It would be expected that the designated care co-ordinator remain involved throughout the client’s stay.
Referrals that meet the above criteria will be accepted from individuals or recognised statutory agencies, including the Bedford Housing Register.
For further information or for an informal chat, please contact the Supported Housing Team on 0330 100 0272.