St Mungo’s Roma Rough Sleeping Team has been announced as a winner of the London Homelessness Awards.
The London Homelessness Awards (LHA) recognise projects across London which use creativity, imagination and initiative to improve services for people experiencing homelessness.
The team will receive a share of a £60,000 prize fund, with details to be announced at a ceremony in November.
The Roma Rough Sleeping Team, funded by the GLA through the Rough Sleeping Initiative, works to:
- Challenge discrimination against people from the Roma community
- Demonstrate that it is possible to deliver sustainable homelessness interventions that enable people to end their rough sleeping for good
- Provide tailored, culturally competent casework directly to Roma clients who are rough sleeping in London.
The team has helped over 200 individuals get the specialist support they need to continue with their recovery. This includes culturally aware drop-in sessions that improve access to immigration advice and healthcare services.
The service is delivered in partnership with The Passage, who provide immigration advice and bespoke support to Roma clients to enter employment including in work support as they settle into their new job. The Roma Rough Sleeping Team will use the prize money to enhance the support they are able to provide to individuals who are seeking employment.
Nico Bitu, Service Manager, Roma Rough Sleeping Team says:
“It has been a real team effort, and I have a deep respect for each of my team members, in particular for the dedication, determination, and resilience that they have shown in ending rough sleeping for our Roma clients. There are many challenges ahead and lots of hard work to be done, but the recognition that comes with this award will give us energy for the years to come.”
David Fisher, Executive Director of Client Services, adds:
“I am delighted for the Roma Rough Sleeping Team that their amazing work has been recognised by the London Homelessness Awards. It emphasises how important their work is in supporting Roma people to have equal access to services and support. The team also share their knowledge and expertise with London local authorities and have trained hundreds of professionals on culturally competent responses to Roma rough sleeping. Everyone at St Mungo’s is very proud of their work.”
The team will be awarded its prize alongside three other finalists: Bromley and Croydon Women’s Aid Safe Beds Scheme, Enfield Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub and SLAM START Homeless Outreach Services.