Monmouthshire County Council is working in partnership with housing charity Llamau to launch a project aimed at helping young people and vulnerable adults by providing additional support and becoming a protective factor in assisting individuals to steer clear of homelessness.
Featured photo: Angela Richards, Llamau Supported Lodgings Team Leader; Joanna Taylor, Mon CC Supported Lodgings Coordinator and Yvonne Wilmot, Llamau Supported Lodgings Coordinator
The Supported Lodgings project has been created to tackle growing homelessness and to find an affordable community-based solution.The scheme provides someone with a room of their own in a private home where they are a member of the household, but are not expected to become a member of the family. The householder, or host, provides a safe and supportive environment, working alongside professional services to help and support that individual in rebuilding their life.
Councillor Sara Jones, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for housing and homelessness said: “The concept of supported lodging is well-tested with a number of authorities already helping young people but our new project will lead the way by including adults and older people. Anecdotal evidence suggests that placing some individuals within a better supported or family setting can have positive outcomes compared to other options.”
The council and Llamau are currently actively looking to identify prospective hosts across Monmouthshire. Hosts will not need special qualifications and may be married or single, working or unemployed. All that is required of them is a spare room with a willingness and ability to help individuals develop the skills and confidence needed to live independently and provide a safe and warm environment for adults. In exchange for providing a room, Llamau will provide the host with a weekly payment while the person receiving support will make a contribution towards costs and utilities.
Councillor Penny Jones, cabinet member for Social Care, Safeguarding and Health added: “Llamau and the council will provide ongoing training and guidance, as well as financial and practical support. Both organisations acknowledge that all persons are different so we’ll guide hosts and those accommodated to agree necessary support. This could include tasks like cooking, budgeting, bills, education or emotional support.”
Llamau already runs similar projects in the Vale of Glamorgan, Carmarthenshire, Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and Newport, enabling the council to visualise the benefits of entering into a supportive co-working relationship with the county’s communities to combat homelessness. The authority recognises the good practices and positive outcomes applied elsewhere and will adapt these – with the additional element of working with adults and older people.
Funded by the council by means of the Welsh Government’s Supporting People Programme, the project has few overheads as it is community-based and operated in addition to currently available provision.