Health hub proposed to enhance support for the homeless across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

A central Homeless Inclusion Health Centre to provide co-ordinated support is proposed for people who are at risk of rough sleeping but vulnerably housed and those who are currently rough sleeping.

A report will be considered by councillors at Cabinet on 26 May recommending the creation of a building based ‘Health Hub’ in Bournemouth with outreach services across the conurbation as well as further developing a multi-disciplinary team with the benefit of staff working closely together to provide a wide range of health support for individuals who are homeless in one central location.

The report recommends that St Stephen’s Church Hall in Bournemouth town centre is developed as a health hub, providing a base where local people can access support in one place with help to find accommodation and have any health needs addressed at the same time.

Councillor Hazel Allen, Lead Member for Homelessness, BCP Council, said:

“We already have fantastic work taking place by the council and our many partners to support vulnerable individuals off the streets and the health hub initiative aims to build on that work to ensure that people who find themselves homeless and at risk of being on the streets, have even easier access to the services and support that they may need.

“People experiencing homelessness are often very vulnerable with complex needs and require, not only support to find suitable housing, but also support around ongoing health issues. That is why it is important to improve our services so that we can reach out to people and offer accessible support so that they can quickly receive the help they need to move off the streets and move on to a more positive future.”

The health hub would provide office and clinic space, showers, laundry facilities, access to computers and locker space so that people can attend and receive the support and/or treatment needed.

The proposal follows the recent approval by Cabinet of the council’s new Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2021-25.

The acquisition of the Health Hub will be guided by the valuation by the Council’s Estates team and budget will be secured to purchase the property, refurbish the property and provide for ongoing maintenance and management

The report will be considered at Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 17 May before going to Cabinet.