On a very cold night in January 2015, a homeless man died on a Sidmouth bench. In response to calls from the public that something should be done to help homeless people in the Sid Valley, the Gateway project was born.
Gateway is not an accommodation agency and has no magic wand but it can offer homeless and vulnerably housed people practical help with:
. working out the best choices to find or keep accommodation to suit their particular situation.
. accessing professional advice to better understand the available options.
. engaging with statutory agencies like East Devon District Council and the DWP.
. obtaining ID, bus passes and similar documentation.
. items like tents, sleeping-bags, clothing and meals.
. making a success of a tenancy.
. attending meetings with other agencies, landlords and lawyers.
Gateway Caseworkers do not give advice directly but are able to signpost clients to other agencies and can assist in finding creative approaches to solving housing problems. The team works with anyone in the Sid Valley who wishes to engage with us and with whom it is safe for us to operate and who is:
: Street Homeless
: Occupying temporary or very insecure accommodation
: In situations which put them at risk of becoming homeless
To speak to a Gateway Caseworker, please contact: Ann Worthington (07980 023202): Tim Swarbrick (07740 067252); Deborah Chadwick (07857 780769); or Lesley Crawford (07470 004877).
For round-the-clock help from East Devon District Council, please call 0800 1513441.
The Gateway Homelessness Action Group is based at the Parish Church (Church of St Giles and St Nicholas), Sidmouth. For non-case related issues, please contact the Gateway Deputy Chairman, Paul Swinburn: firstname.lastname@example.org