Carl Sargeant AM, Minister for Housing and Regeneration this week heard first hand from Solas residents about what had led to their homelessness and how they are rebuilding their lives.
The Minister visited the groundbreaking housing and support scheme for vulnerable adults in Clifton Place, managed by support provider Solas (part of Seren Group). The service provides supported housing for twenty nine people aged 16 and over, many of whom have experienced problems which include drug, alcohol issues and mental health problems that make it difficult for them to live independently and have been causal factors in their homelessness.
With increasing funding pressures on public services such as health and social care, Solas has seen an increase in the complex needs of individuals being referred to them and with further significant public service funding cuts on the horizon, the availability of specialist housing and support services such as Clifton Place are absolutely crucial.
The Minister toured the project with Rhian Stone; Solas Director, Wendy Bourton; Solas Chair and heard how through specialist support, the residents are able to tackle the issues impacting on their lives, and take up opportunities available at Clifton Place to develop their skills and confidence to enable them to live independently in the future. Solas offer a range of employment, training and volunteering opportunities to help people gain accredited qualifications and experience so they can find employment in the future.
Reflecting on his visit, Carl Sargeant AM, Minister for Housing and Regeneration said: “Clifton place provides much-needed stability for vulnerable people who have typically led very difficult lives, and builds the skills they need to live independently. After speaking with residents for whom the scheme has been positively life-changing, it’s clear to me that by continuing to invest in high quality housing and support services, will deliver better outcomes for some of Wales’ most vulnerable people, and for the communities in which they live.”
Solas supports over 650 vulnerable people across South East Wales and as well as housing support, the residents receive support in areas such as independent living skills, cooking and budgeting, as well as emotional and practical support.
Solas Director Rhian Stone says the scheme which is part of the Supporting People agenda has made a real difference since opening in 2011 “In a short space of time we’ve seen significant improvements in the lives of the people we support at Clifton Place. The combination of high quality accommodation, and support, and the opportunity to develop vital living skills, confidence and to acquire accredited training, supports people to move on to lasting independence and a more positive future’.