Charities in Plymouth are going to work with the City Council in a more joined up way to help vulnerable people such as the homeless, those with mental illness and other complex needs.
Plymouth City Council will be awarding a £7 million contract to an alliance of local charities to provide services to people with complex needs (homelessness, drug or alcohol misuse, mental illness and offending). The contract is a new way of bringing together services and commissioners in a partnership where power and responsibility are shared collectively for the common good of people with complex needs. The services already do this but the continued reduction in local authority funding available from central government means there is a need to futureproof services.
It is hoped that by existing service providers working more closely together it will provide resilience across the system when there is less funding available for council services, as well as reducing duplication.
Charities including Bournemouth Churches Housing Association (who run the George Hostel and other temporary accommodation for homeless people), Harbour, Shekinah, the Zone, Plymouth Access To Housing (PATH), Livewest (formerly Devon and Cornwall Housing), Livewell Southwest and Hamoaze, have formed the alliance and have been working cooperatively with the Council’s commissioning and public health teams over the past four years towards this project.
Councillor Ian Tuffin, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “I am really pleased that we are able to award this contract to help some of the city’s most vulnerable residents. We have been working cooperatively with these local charities for a number of years now to develop a new way of working where we all share responsibility for tackling the key issues of homelessness and drug and alcohol misuse together in future.
“These are extremely difficult times financially – we are getting less and less money from central government despite continued demand for these services – so we have to think creatively. The alliance approach encourages cooperation and partnership, innovation, creativity and acting in the best interests across the whole system.”
The contract, which will run for five years initially with the potential to extend to ten years, will enable the Council and other commissioners to build long term sustainable relationships with local charities and other service providers to plan for the future.