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DATE POSTED: 14/08/2013

Bishopbridge House Annual Report 2012/13

Bishopbridge House, the Trust's 30-bed direct access hostel for rough sleepers and homeless people is always full; in other words there are no void bed nights. The building, owned by Broadland Housing Association and opened in 2002, continues to perform well and provides a good, temporary living environment for residents and a good working environment for staff.  Staff  work a shift system at the hostel providing round-the-clock support to residents 365 days a year.

During their stay at Bishopbridge House residents are prepared for moves to their own independent accommodation - or perhaps to another placement within the Trust network of projects, or to a specialist hostel managed by another provider agency. The average length of stay for residents at Bishopbridge House has, in the past, been a cause for concern to Trustees. However the adoption of the Hostel Move-On Agreement by Norwich City Council and other specialist housing providers in Greater Norwich obliges those providers to offer a proportion of their vacancies to Bishopbridge House residents. For example 39 people went to placements at Genesis Housing and 8 were re-located to Broadland Housing Association’s new hostel at Dibden Road, Norwich during the period under review.

In total, despite the difficulties associated with finding a next suitable placement for residents who are living at Bishopbridge House, 185 people left the hostel in 2012/13 – 166 men and 19 women (the total for the previous 12 months was 135; in other words we were able to accommodate an additional 40 people in 2012/13).  In the period under review we were, on average, making a bed available at Bishopbridge House every other night – a very significant achievement for a direct access hostel where there is always a strong demand for beds. 131 people were successfully referred by the CAPS team to Bishopbridge House (see CAPS report below).

124 or 67% of these 185 departures were planned (90 and 66% were the corresponding figures for 2011).  42 of these move-on placements were provided by the Trust itself.  61 moves were unplanned; in other words they were not part of a resettlement plan. 1 was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, 10 went to prison, 9 left without giving a reason, 3 died, 9 left for their own choice of housing and 24 were evicted for serious breach of the terms of their licence agreement with the hostel.

The resettlement process at Bishopbridge House is assisted by a programme of social and recreational activities aimed at providing residents with the skills and confidence they need when they leave. Residents at Bishopbridge House took part in almost 900 activity/learning  sessions during 2012. Some of these activity sessions are delivered away from Bishopbridge House at the Trust’s Under One Roof project.  A measure of the success of the resettlement process continues to be the fact that very few of the residents re-appear at Bishopbridge House asking for accommodation.

Finally, the steady and significant demographic shift towards a younger age group requiring the services of Bishopbridge House is worth recording.  The number of 18 – 24 year olds staying at the hostel has risen from 17 (2012), to 21 (2011), to 37 (2012).  This is a worrying trend and one that will need to addressed in partnership with YMCA (who have recently closed one of their facilities).

Click here for the full 2012/13 Annual Report of the Trust

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