Under One Roof

Councillor Tom Renhard is pictured smiling, with college green and trees in the background.
Today’s guest blog is from Councillor Tom Renhard,
Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery & Homes
and Labour Councillor for Horfield ward.

Under One Roof is a new monthly support session that will provide people who are rough sleeping or at risk of homelessness, expert advice on a range of subjects in one location, as we continue to work to end rough sleeping in Bristol.

The service will be launching at its first session, today. Sessions will take place on the first Wednesday of each month at The Salvation Army Citadel in Montpelier. There is no need to book as people can just turn up on the day.

These sessions bring together specialist organisations providing advice and support in relation to:

  • Education, training and employment
  • Welfare Benefits
  • Housing
  • Health issues including support with drugs and alcohol

Ella and Julian, officers from the council’s Welfare Rights and Money Advice Service (WRAMAS) will be on hand to provide advice and assistance to people who are struggling to access their correct benefit entitlement.

Ella and Julian’s posts are funded by the Rough Sleeping Initiative, and these sessions build on the work WRAMAS has been doing to help people who are rough sleeping to resolve problems with their benefits.

People who are rough sleeping, often face additional barriers to claiming benefits. Our link workers help them to claim health and disability benefits, resolve difficulties getting their identity verified, resolve problems that might be blocking benefits and assist people who have difficulties providing evidence to support their claims.

These sorts of issues can prevent people from accessing accommodation in the first place and will stops those that are in accommodation from paying rent.

By having multiple services in one place, Under One Roof provides a holistic service, where those who need support can be introduced to the full range of services they require.

The project has been developed by the Department for Work and Pensions. The sessions will be hosted by the Salvation Army who are one of the main delivery partners alongside Bristol City Council, St Mungo’s, Shelter, Bristol Drugs Project and Second Step.

A young person is pictured, wearing a blue and black jumper, holding a carboard cut out of a house, with street art in the background.