Change Grow Live Supported Housing and Resettlement Service provides short to medium term accommodation and support for ex-offenders being released from prison. The aim of the service is to accommodate, support, safely manage and reintegrate individuals who have demonstrated the motivation to change their offending behaviour. Resettlement of service users into the community, together with the management of any risk, is the main focus of the service. In addition we facilitate prisoners on ROTL (Release On Temporary Licence), usually for an average period of 4 nights.
We work in close partnership with Kent Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company and the National Probation Service
Projects are supported by staff from 9-5 Monday – Saturday and provide additional late evening coverage. Our staff will also work flexibly to meet the needs of service users.
Aims of the service
The Service works in close partnership with the National Probation Service and the Public Protection Unit in Sussex to help service users:
- Reduce their risk of offending
- Sustain a tenancy, so reducing their risk of homelessness
- Improve their life skills, e.g. communication, budgeting, cooking
- Address individual issues, e.g. substance misuse, mental health
- Find work/training/constructive activity
- Increase their level of independence
- Move-on to long-term accommodation
- Create long and short term goals using the ‘Good Lives’ recovery model
To be eligible for the service individuals must demonstrate their motivation to change their offending behaviour and present a low level of risk to the community. The average tenancy is around 12 months.
As part of a planned move-on we offer a follow on Outreach Support Service for approximately 1 – 6 months, occasionally more if needed. This service enables us to support service users through the difficult transition from supported to independent accommodation.
The service also provide a separate Outreach Support Service to ex-offenders released from prison who are housed in other appropriate accommodation, such as private tenancies.
These services aim to prevent service users entering into a cycle of repeat or prolonged offending and homelessness due to debt, anti social behaviour or disconnection from appropriated support services.
Probation currently have 100% referral rights to our service. Potential service users wanting to apply need to contact their Offender Manager and ask them to make a referral.
Facilities and activities
Service users have their own single room and share the communal facilities of kitchen, bathroom, lounge area and garden. Each project has an office on-site with staff providing support and keyworking during office hours Monday to Saturday and one late evening per week.
Every six weeks, projects hold House Meetings and a Resident Forum. These enable service users to raise issues, address problems, discuss potential improvements and hear about the experiences of former service users.
Service users also take part a range of additional activities chosen by the group to help raise self-esteem, and increase motivation.
Service users can access a follow-on outreach Support Service which helps service users through the difficult transition from supported to independent accommodation.
A separate Outreach Support Service is available to people who are released from prison who are housed in other appropriate accommodation, such as private rented.
In order to be referred to Change Grow Live, an individual must meet the following criteria:
Age: Over 18 years
Sex: Male (Females accepted for Outreach Support Service)
Situation: Under supervision of the Probation Service
- Capable of independent living
- Willing to live with others
- Willing to accept support
- Demonstrating motivation to change
Priority is given to local referrals. Offender Managers wanting to make a referral for someone, whose case is not managed by Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust, must first contact a Senior Probation Officer. A referral can only be made if a transfer of the case is agreed in principle.
Due to the excessive pressure on housing and services, it is not likely that anyone without connections to the area, or other good reason for moving here, will have a transfer agreed.
The communication needs of service users are catered for e.g. translators can be provided for non-English speakers. In addition, full consideration is given to the physical requirements of service users.
In the first quarter of 2016 CGL houses achieved between 96-99% occupancy and we met our target of 100% of support plans completed within two weeks of moving in.
In the same period we exceeded our targets for:
- planned exits
- Education, training and employment
- staying healthy and
- facilitating engagement with primary care