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Four projects make it to the top for prestigious 2021 awards

Four projects from across London have been named as winners of the prestigious London Homelessness Awards for 2021.  They will share cash prizes totalling £80,000.   

The London Homelessness Awards are sponsored by London Housing Foundation, London Housing Directors, The Mayor of London, Crisis and Shelter.  This year, the 21st anniversary, the awards are run in partnership with the Evening Standard’s Homeless Fund.

We received over 30 applications for the awards and after visiting the six shortlisted projects and seeing their presentations, the judges decided to expand the prize fund and chose four as prize winners and two as specially commended.

The prize winners are (in alphabetical order):

  • Camden Health Improvement Practice
  • MyBnk – The Money House
  • Southwark Law Centre – Homeless Patients Legal Advocacy Service
  • St Mungo’s – Westminster Street Outreach Service

Two further projects were particularly commended as making a special contribution to helping combat homelessness in London.

  • SJOG (St John of God Hospitaller Services) – Olallo House specialist TB Homeless Service
  • Standing Together – Westminster VAWG Housing First Service

The allocation of the prize money (first prize, £30,000, second, £20,000 and third £10,000), will be revealed at a special event at the Union Chapel, 14th October.

Ian Brady is Executive Chair of London Housing Foundation and chaired the judging panel.  He said:

“With a strong field of applicants, each of these projects did well to get to the last six and all would have been worthy winners.  The presentations and stories they told were very powerful and as a result the judging panel agreed to expand the prize fund and give four financial awards this year.  This is the first time this has happened.  The winners all provide high quality services to a wide range of clients and showcase just how vibrant and innovative the homelessness sector in London continues to be.”

The four winning projects (in alphabetical order) are:

Camden Health Improvement: is a specialist homeless GP service in Camden. Since 2015 they have provided a novel, innovative and evidence-based GP Outreach programme.  The impact has been to raise the average age of death of their homeless patients from 47 up to 54 years old. This is whilst the national trend has been for the age of death for homeless people to fall from 47 down to 44 years of age.

MyBnk: The Money House is an accredited youth homelessness prevention scheme. It targets care leavers and vulnerable young adults about to move into social housing. Over a week, trained experts in four real flats across London teach participants everything they need to know to keep their tenancy.  They focus on survival money management skills, understanding systems, planning for the future, and reducing financial exclusion. It has resulted in a 64% drop in evictions for those at risk of becoming homeless.

Southwark Law Centre: Homeless Patients Legal Advocacy Service: Southwark Law Centre works in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust’s Homeless Health Team​​​​ to provide advice and legal representation for homeless hospital patients. The law centre’s specialist solicitors help patients with particularly complex immigration, housing or welfare benefits cases. It also provides training and advice to the Trust’s homeless health team and other staff, so they are better able to support this particularly vulnerable patient group.

St Mungo’s: Westminster Street outreach Service work 365 days of the year early in the morning and late at night to provide support for individuals rough sleeping in Westminster.  Westminster SOS provide support and assistance to anyone that finds themselves rough sleeping in Westminster.  When people are housed they are then offered bespoke support so individuals maintain accommodation and do not return to the streets.  This includes support with housing, health, immigration, access to benefits and reconnections where appropriate.

The two specially commended projects are:

SJOG Hospitaller Services: Olallo House is an innovative intermediate care service opened in 2008 in response to multiple tuberculosis (TB) treatment failures and preventable deaths among people experiencing homeless with complex needs and No Recourse to Public Funds. In addition to successfully supporting people to complete challenging TB treatment, Olallo is first and foremost a “home” providing holistic, trauma informed support enabling residents to realise positive changes and move on in their lives.

Standing Together and Solace Women’s Aid: The Westminster VAWG (violence against women and girls) Housing First project provides permanent, independent housing and intensive support for 20 women experiencing long term homelessness, any form of VAWG and multiple disadvantage.  Solace work to build relationships with the women and provide intensive ‘woman led’ support to help them maintain a tenancy and improve physical and mental wellbeing.  Standing Together manage partnerships with a coalition of housing partners who provide units for the project.

More details about the London Homelessness Awards can be found at www.lhawards.org..uk  

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