Croydon council homelessness project wins award

Credit: Garry Knight (Flickr)

The Gateway project has helped over 5,400 people become financially independent. Photo credit: Garry Knight (Flickr)

A Croydon Council homelessness programme has been named one of the best in London.

Croydon Council’s Gateway initiative with its “innovative and sustainable” approaches has been named one of the three winning projects for London Homelessness Awards.

The scheme which was launched last year and has helped over 1,000 people avoid homelessness, covers housing, benefits, debt management and social care assessment.

The aim is also to help  families  suffering from the Government’s welfare reforms, such as the benefit cap and universal credit.

The initiative works closely with people who are at risk of becoming homeless, who then meet with an advisor to provide help on how to manage finances, make the most of their income, as well as providing career support.

Around 5,400 people have benefited from this programme in becoming more financially independent and it has helped over 587 individuals secure jobs.

The award letter sent to Mark Fowler, Croydon Council’s director of gateway and welfare, had also stated that Croydon Council will be receiving a financial award in October.

Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for Homes, Regeneration and Planning, said: “Gateway is a superb example of how this council improves the lives of Croydon families who need our help, so I’m really pleased it’s getting wider recognition.

“I am very proud of our staff who give families real financial breathing space so they can pay their bills and then get support to feel more confident and boost their job prospects. We’ve had great feedback from people we’ve helped, and we’re already exploring ways of broadening the joined-up Gateway approach to support homeless people with more complex needs.”

London Homelessness Awards are open for programmes which have worked to tackle homelessness for at least six months.

The ceremony is to take place in October. The winner will get a £30,000 award, while the other two will share £25,000.

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