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London's first one-stop homeless hub launches in Hackney

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 March 2016 | UPDATED: 12:12 09 March 2016

The one stop shop is the first in London. Picture: PA/David Cheskin

The one stop shop is the first in London. Picture: PA/David Cheskin

PA/EMPICS

A pioneering one-stop-shop for homeless people has helped give a young woman in need "hope where there was none".

Rashida Hermitt was helped to find accommodation and access benefits at the Single Homeless Hub, Tudor Road, Hackney, where she also received pastoral support.

The service launched last week following a six-month trial and is based in The Greenhouse centre, run jointly by Hackney Council, Thames Reach homelessness charity and the NHS since 2007.

Until now council housing officers and the charity staff had been based at different locations, but the health, housing and care services are now all under one roof.

Rashida, 28, said: “My life was hectic, now it’s proper calm and stable. I have hope where there was none. I am able to see a future where I didn’t see one before.”

The new hub aims to prevent homelessness and engage hard-to-reach rough sleepers, street users, homeless and vulnerable people.

It then helps them access benefits, income, employment, training and volunteering.

Hackney’s housing chief Cllr Philip Glanville, said the hub was “all about giving vulnerable and homeless people the best help possible.”

Greenhouse sees an average of 1,000 of the community’s most hard-to-reach people every year.

Thames Reach executive Jeremy Swain said: “We are delighted at the early successes achieved through the formation of the Single Homeless Hub. Dealing with a person’s full range of needs by bringing together different teams from the voluntary sector, local authority and health is often talked about yet rarely accomplished.

“We have demonstrated it is achievable and the results in terms of homelessness prevention and an improved quality of life are impressive and inspiring. We look forward to building on this early success and doing even more over the coming months to meet the needs of vulnerable people in Hackney.”

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