SASC invests £1.415 million in Ara Recovery for all to fund properties to house vulnerable homeless people in Bristol

Ara Recovery for all (Addiction Recovery Agency), a UK charity working with people who are experiencing addiction and mental health issues in Bristol, the South West and Wales, has received a social investment loan of £1.415 million from Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) to buy properties to house single homeless people.  Ara is Bristol City Council’s (BCC) key provider of specialist services for people with addiction issues.

This transformative loan from SASC’s Community Investment fund, will enable them to purchase 15 one-bed properties around Bristol for vulnerable people experiencing homelessness, through the Housing First model of care, an evidence-based model which is highly effective at ending homelessness for people with multiple and complex needs[i].

SASC’s loan will contribute half the overall funding Ara requires to buy the properties, alongside a capital grant from the Government’s Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP)[ii].

Bristol has the third highest homelessness population in the UK, and according to Shelter on any given night in 2022, just shy of 3,000 people in Bristol were homeless[iii]. Also, the latest Government figures show the number of people sleeping rough in Bristol increased 16% – with an estimated 67 people sleeping rough in 2023 compared to 58 in 2022[iv].

Graham England, CEO, Ara Recovery

Graham England, CEO at Ara Recovery for All said: “There is an acute need for housing for vulnerable people in Bristol who are homeless and demand for our services is growing. Our housing teams work with Bristol’s homeless population, those released from prison and individuals with drug and alcohol addiction, providing ‘hope and better lives’ for people through a high level of individual contact and care.

“The SASC loan, together with the SHAP funding, will allow us to pursue a property ownership and housing first strategy. Without this we would be reliant on the private rental sector and other social landlords, and unable to offer the intensive support our client’s need.

“The properties will give homes to people who have a history of entrenched or repeat rough sleeping, often with multiple and serious support needs, for which traditional homelessness approaches have not been successful. Our teams will support them to recover from drugs and alcohol, attain independence and maintain stable housing.”

Mark Bickford, CEO of SASC said: “The CIF loan is our first investment in Bristol and will enable Ara to offer those most in need a home alongside vital support, which is an essential first step on the journey of rebuilding their confidence and offering psychological safety to people with multiple, overlapping needs.”

For more information on Ara Recovery for all  visit: www.recovery4all.co.uk

For more information on SASC visit: www.socialandsustainable.com

References

[i] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/housing-first-pilot-national-evaluation-reports/mobilising-housing-first-toolkit-from-planning-to-early-implementation#introduction-and-overview

[ii] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/single-homelessness-accommodation-programme/single-homelessness-accommodation-programme-prospectus-and-guidance-outside-of-greater-london

[iii] https://epigram.org.uk/homelessnessinbristole-features/

[iv] https://emmausbristol.org.uk/news/street-homelessness-up-by-16-in-bristol/

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