A new service that will provide a stepping-stone for rough sleepers needing support to move into more permanent accommodation has opened in Trowbridge.

The Bridge is a new service which is managed by Alabaré, with a grant towards staffing from Wiltshire Council.

The home can support up to 10 people, who will benefit from stable accommodation and support, including help for people with multiple health and wellbeing needs.

Alabaré will adopt a holistic approach to look at the whole person not just specific needs in the support it provides to individuals. It will aim to address a person’s needs in conjunction with providing support for people who may have experienced trauma. People will be able to live at The Bridge for up to two years; during which time the Alabaré team will provide support and training to help people successfully manage future tenancies.

Cllr Phil Alford, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “I’m pleased we have this additional accommodation where, in partnership with Alabaré, we can offer our rough sleepers a safe place to stay and support for them to move forward with getting their life back on track. This facility is much needed and will be a ‘bridge’ to a new life and better prospects for those entering its doors. This aligns with our business plan for people to be empowered to live full, healthy and enriched lives.

“Moving from being a rough sleeper to having a permanent home and employment can be daunting, but this service will provide the wraparound support for health and wellbeing and the tools to make the changes. We know this approach works as it has done many other times in Wiltshire and I look forward to hearing good stories of people moving on in the future.”

Nicki Vigor, Senior Service Manager at Alabaré said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Wiltshire Council to offer people who have fallen into crisis and poverty the support they need to rebuild their lives.  The challenges they have faced often linked to trauma and so we want to provide support that addresses their experiences and start to provide some stability from which they can begin to move on from.  This is vital help which means that many can leave homelessness behind for good.”

Referrals are accepted via Wiltshire Council Rough Sleeper team who can be contacted on 0300 456 0106