Council funds day services for rough sleepers

Published: Monday, 22nd January 2018

Oxford City Council spends more than £143,000 a year to help provide day services for rough sleepers in Oxford.

The council funds Homeless Oxfordshire, The Porch day centre and The Gatehouse to provide these services.

Homeless Oxfordshire provides day services from its O’Hanlon House hostel in Luther Street from 9 am to 3:30 pm every day. O’Hanlon House provides shower and laundry facilities, and two meals a day. These are available to any verified rough sleeper, regardless of their local connection to Oxford. Users of day services can also access services provided to hostel residents, including training, education and activities as part of the Step Up project.

The Porch day centre in Magdalen Road provides day long support for homeless and vulnerably housed people six days a week. Its services include two cheap hot meals a day, shower and laundry facilities, clothing, and a range of activities including ICT training and allotment work.

The Gatehouse is at 10 Woodstock Road, and provides a drop-in café for homeless and vulnerably housed people six days a week. It also offers free internet access, a clothes store and art, literacy and computer activities groups.

The total provision of day services across the three sites is for 100.5 hours a week.

Councillor Mike Rowley, Board Member for Housing, said: “We fund day services for rough sleepers which are delivered by O’Hanlon House, The Porch and The Gatehouse. These include activities, shower and laundry services, internet access and free or cheap hot food.

“We spend more than £143,000 a year funding our partners to provide day services for rough sleepers, which are open for more than 100 hours a week. I am grateful to O’Hanlon House, The Porch and The Gatehouse for their effort and their commitment to providing these much needed and well used services.”

Jon Fitzpatrick, Director of The Porch, said: “At The Porch we passionately believe in 'bringing people in'. For over 30 years we have been providing support to those who are homeless, rough sleeping and vulnerably housed. Our funding helps us to employ three full time project workers, who are on hand six days a week to provide both reactive and proactive support to people who need it. We have no move-on policy and take pride in the fact that many people continue to access our services once they have achieved their own identified aims.”