The Calico Group’s Gateway service in Burnley has been named ‘Best Homelessness Scheme’ at the national 24 Housing Awards 2019.
The service, which has been open for twelve months, is commissioned by Lancashire County Council to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable homeless people within the community.
The work involved in running the transformative service impressed judges and secured the top spot for the Gateway team.
Since its opening, it has been home to 146 people from all walks of life, from young people to elderly, and veterans. All residents are supported 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by dedicated staff, many of whom have their own lived experience.
Through this invaluable service, they are then able to develop their skills and future employability by accessing various therapies to enhance their personal resilience, alongside cookery classes and other practical support to develop independent living skills and ultimately, help residents move on to sustain permanent accommodation.
Kate Cunliffe, Homelessness Service Manager at Gateway, said: “I am so proud that Gateway has been chosen by 24 Housing as the ‘Best Homelessness Scheme’ for 2019. It is truly wonderful for our staff and residents to receive such recognition. This is an opportunity to celebrate an excellent service that boldly breaks down the barriers for homeless individuals to feel safe and secure and begin to work towards positive change.”
At this time of year when the temperature drops, Gateway’s Cold Weather Provision offers them a warm, safe place to stay. 17 rough sleepers accessed this service during extreme weather conditions last winter.
In the past three months alone, eight former rough sleepers have also secured or re-secured tenancies with the support of the Homelessness Navigator, who otherwise may have stayed on the streets.
One Gateway resident said: “I was lost and I didn’t know what to do or who to trust – I will never forget the support I have had at Gateway. Now I can get on with my life and start looking forward.”
Gateway is accessible to the most vulnerable people in the community who are ready to make positive changes to improve their lives.