In early 2015, Bosco joined forces with three other experienced and well-established Sefton-based organisations – Venus (www.venuscharity.org); Excel Housing (excelhousingsolutions.com); and New Start (www.newstarthomes.org.uk) – to tackle homelessness in the borough. Under the name Sefton Supported Housing Group (SSHG, www.seftonsupportedhousing.org.uk), the consortium won a 5-year contract from Sefton Council to deliver supported housing to homeless people.
SSHG has a wealth of experience in delivering 24-hour hostel services, as well as dispersed housing with integrated support. Each client is allocated a designated support worker who will assess their needs in depth and, with them, agree a support plan to meet those needs. The aim is to provide stability and support to help move clients on to independent living.
The overall service is made up of 39 hostel places and 31 fully supported dispersed tenancies across the Borough. A Sit-Up Service is also available, in three locations (two at Bosco in Bootle and one run by New Start in Southport), for up to 15 individuals at any one time.
The Sit-Up Service takes rough sleepers off the streets and provides a safe, warm place to spend the night. Each venue provides clients with a hot meal, toilet and washing facilities, and emergency clothing where necessary. Accessing the Sit-Up Service will be, for many, the first step towards independent living.