On Friday 10 November, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse took time to talk to local people affected by homelessness and mental health issues, and heard how housing association Curo supports vulnerable people across the city.
During the visit Wera was shown two of Curo’s homelessness schemes for in the city – the Bath Foyer and their direct-access hostel – which provide a stable home alongside support for young people and families who have found themselves with nowhere to live.
Wera Hobhouse said: ‘It was very interesting, and I am grateful to have seen personally the services Curo provides for homeless families and young people, as well as the non-medical services they provide for people who suffer from mental health issues. The number of homeless people is growing, and urgent national investment in more homes for social rent is needed to reverse this growing crisis.”
Curo Director of Health & Support, Harriet Bosnell, said: “It was a real pleasure to introduce our local MP to some of the people we support at Curo.
“At Curo we know that providing a roof over someone’s head is just the start. That’s why we provide a wide range of Independent Lives services which are all about helping people to maintain or regain their independence, and to start to rebuild their life and their children’s lives.
“Wera was particularly impressed with our innovative approach to supporting better mental health through our Wellbeing House. The Wellbeing House is a free weekly retreat for people in B&NES suffering from emotional distress who might otherwise find themselves in greater medical need.”
During the visit Wera heard how Curo’s support services are saving money that would otherwise be spent by the public purse through the NHS, local council budgets and national government. Last year this ‘social return on investment’ was worth £10.7m – money saved through Curo activity such as preventing people from becoming homeless, reducing hospital stays and avoiding the need for people to move to residential care homes.
The visit was organised as part of the national Starts at Home campaign which is highlighting the role that housing associations like Curo make in providing supported housing.
More information about the campaign is available at https://startsathome.org.uk/.
Pictured L-R: Curo Wellbeing Project Officer Bethan Edmunds, Curo Service Manager Michelle Jacobs and Wera Hobhouse MP at The Bath Wellbeing House.