Homelessness and health

Supporting people to lead an independent and healthy life

On average homeless people die at 47 years old – 30 years before the national average of 77 years old.

It is a well known fact that homelessness can have a seriously damaging effect on someone’s physical and mental wellbeing. All of our homelessness services include a range of health interventions and partnerships - we provide support to our customers to ensure that they receive the help they need to overcome any health problems, so as they are able to move-on to lead an independent and healthy life.

At our larger schemes, including George House in Plymouth and St Pauls in Bournemouth, we work in partnership with the local GP surgeries and other primary healthcare services, to provide these services on site. We have also developed strong links with a wide range of physical and mental health providers, and agencies that support people with alcohol and substance misuse issues - which means that if we can't provide someone with the support and expertise they need, we can signpost them to someone who can.

In 2013 we secured funding to provide a service within hospitals in both Bournemouth and Plymouth to ensure that homeless people who are discharged from hospital are supported into appropriate accommodation, and are engaged with appropriate health and community services.

Substance misuse

Levels of drug and alcohol abuse are relatively high amongst homeless people - with substance misuse proving both a cause, and result of homelessness. Research suggests that substance use increases as a consequence of homelessness, as it serves as a method of coping with the stresses of living on the streets.

Throughout our schemes and services we work with people to minimise their substance misuse and reduce the harm this is having on themselves and others around them. We also work with people who are in recovery from addiction - helping them to maintain a healthier lifestyle and live independently within the community.

As well as supporting people with substance misuse problems within the community, we also provide accommodation based services in Bournemouth for people who have active substance misuse challenges, or who are in the process of recovery.

All referrals for this service must be made via the Bournemouth Supporting People Hub. To enquire about making a referral:

Call: 01202 451467

Email: sp.hub@bournemouth.gov.uk

If you need to talk to someone about substance misuse, call the Frank drugs helpline on 0300 123 6600. Alternatively, click here to visit the Frank website.

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