A new homeless support service has opened in Bury St Edmunds, offering accommodation and personalised healthcare for vulnerable adults who had previously been rough sleeping in the area.

Working in partnership with West Suffolk Council, Sanctuary Supported Living was awarded a £100,000 capital grant from Homes England via the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme, to completely refurbish a building and run the service until 2024.

Following the renovation works, Bury St Edmunds Supported Housing now provides a modern environment with fully furnished en-suite bedrooms and communal facilities for up to 11 adults. After receiving referrals from West Suffolk Council’s housing team, the building provides next steps accommodation for people who had previously been rough sleeping and are in need of immediate healthcare support. The service also offers an alternative solution to temporary accommodation such as hostels and B&Bs combined with support to address their immediate needs.

Alongside 30 hours a week of specialist healthcare, funded by NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and delivered by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, Sanctuary Supported Living’s specialist team are on-site 24 hours a day, providing tailored support to address the physical and mental health needs of people who have experienced homeless, rough sleeping and substance misuse.

Lee Glading, Area Service Manager said: “Right now, it’s more important than ever to support people who have experienced homelessness. At this service, once people have access to the healthcare they need, our specialist team can support them to move forward and rebuild their lives. We believe that by treating people with dignity and giving them a safe place to live, they will be better enabled to take steps to break the cycle of repeat homelessness and work towards living a fulfilled and independent life.”

Dave Shaw, Head of Growth and Business Development at Sanctuary Supported Living, added: “Ongoing, holistic support is critical in making a real difference to people’s lives. When the Covid-19 pandemic began, around 15,000 people who were sleeping rough were given emergency accommodation as part of the Government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative. This Next Steps Accommodation Programme is designed to ensure that people continue to be supported and don’t return to rough sleeping. We’re delighted to be working with West Suffolk Council at our new service, which is set to achieve just that.”

Cllr Sara Mildmay-White, Cabinet member for Housing at West Suffolk Council, said:

For more information about Sanctuary Supported Living’s services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, see our latest news or find a service near you.