Since it opened in early November the Exeter SafeSleep facility has had a significant impact on rough sleeping in the city. 101 men and women have been able to access a warm bed – rather than having to sleep in a shop doorway or tucked away in a car park.
However SafeSleep isn’t just about offering shelter. The service also offers the opportunity to properly engage with vulnerable individuals and understand why they have been forced into such a dangerous existence. Staff from Julian House and BCHA (Bournemouth Churches Housing Association) work hard to develop individual support plans which address key issues and provide the beginnings of a pathway off the streets.
SafeSleep is funded by Exeter City Council – the result of a successful grant application to central government. It is located at The Junction (previously Spice Island Restaurant) in Magdalen Street, EX2 4HZ. In addition to a bed clients have access to food, laundry, showers and support.
During November and December:
- 101 men and women used Safesleep
- Made up of 85 men and 16 women
- The average age was 39
- An average of 25 individuals used the facility each night
- 12 clients have had a successful move-on away from the streets
- Bath towels
- Pot Noodles
Contact: 01392 848 772 [email protected]
“Life is tough but it could be a lot worse”
“I had to leave my very violent partner and went to a refuge but had to leave there so have been coming to The Junction on a regular basis. I’m waiting to get a ‘script’ so I can start to stop using. I want to be clean again. Previously I have been for over 2 years – during which time I had a little girl. I don’t see her very often but I want to be part of her life again. I am currently bidding for accommodation via Devon Homes Choice. I’m just waiting to start my life again.”
“It’s brilliant, especially in this weather”
“I was in and out of prison from the age of 25-31 with silly drug related offences but this was a way of funding my addiction. During my last stay inside I started the 12 step programme. I got my life back.
3 months ago I made a mistake by taking drugs socially and after one night found my addiction was back. During my treatment and hospital stay my parents have taken custody of my children which I am really pleased about as this is the best option for them. Now back in Exeter, for the last 2 weeks I have stayed at The Junction every night and the staff are helping me to secure some type of accommodation.”
Joanne – 39
“It’s great to have at night, but would like it open during the day for more advice, support, warmth and food”
“I had to leave my mum’s flat, as her new boyfriend moved in. I heard about The Junction which meant I had somewhere to sleep and to get help. I’ve not been here long and the staff have helped me to talk to the Council and we are waiting to hear about a possible ‘move-on’ in the next week to a local property. Like everyone in here we are just waiting”
Robert – 32
SafeSleep is indebted to a number of organisations and individuals for their support including:
- Salvation Army
- Exeter Cathedral
- St David’s Church
- Blessed Sacrament Church
- The Rise Recovery Café
- Bread of Life
- Pret a Manger
- The Dogs Trust
- Mi Space
- BPA Quality
- The general public