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Bid approved to expand Places of Safety for abuse survivors

Gloucestershire Strategic Housing Partnership has developed a three-year tender to support those who are most at risk of domestic abuse.

Gloucestershire Strategic Housing Partnership is comprised of the county’s six district councils, Gloucestershire County Council, the Integrated Care Board and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire.

Using Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities grant funding, the housing partnership received an application from GreenSquareAccord (GSA), one of England’s largest providers of housing and care, to expand the amount of temporary domestic abuse safe accommodation for domestic abuse survivors they provide in Gloucestershire.

The housing association currently provides 12 Places of Safety, reserved for survivors of domestic abuse who are homeless, within Gloucestershire. Following their successful bid to Gloucestershire Strategic Housing Partnership, GSA will initially double the number of Places of Safety they provide across the county with scope to increase the provision further.

A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Strategic Housing Partnership said: “We are really pleased to award the contract for an expansion of Places of Safety to GSA. We look forward to working in close partnership with them, to build on the success of the existing scheme in Gloucestershire. The expansion will mean that more survivors of domestic abuse, their children and pets, can access quality safe accommodation when experiencing homelessness.”

The Places of Safety managed by GSA in Gloucestershire are houses and apartments which are occupied, on a temporary basis, by adults and their children who have experienced domestic abuse.  To make people’s stay as comfortable as possible, the homes are fully furnished.

The accommodation is provided for those in the highest need, and people using Places of Safety stay until a permanent and suitable housing solution can be found and will receive specialist support while they are there. GSA work collaboratively with the county’s six district councils to ensure survivors can access suitable settled housing options when moving on from Places of Safety

GDASS provides support to Gloucestershire residents aged 16+ who are at risk of or are experiencing domestic abuse.

GDASS is a service run by GSA and is commissioned by Gloucestershire County Council, with support from the county’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and NHS Gloucestershire for some specialist roles.

Heather Downer, Domestic Abuse Services Manager at GSA said “We are delighted to confirm that GSA have been successful in our bid to increase the provision of places of safety in Gloucestershire. This new resource will be a boost to the work of GDASS and their partners across the county who are working together to support those who are at risk of or are experiencing domestic abuse.

“Places of Safety offers an alternative model to refuge accommodation and is accessible to those in most need including male, trans and non-binary survivors of domestic abuse and families with adolescent children. We also allow those entering our places of safety to bring pets as fear for the safety of animals can sometimes be a barrier to seeking help.”

Councillor Stephen Fifield, Cabinet member responsible for Adult Social Care Delivery, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to expand the number of Places of Safety in Gloucestershire. This council and our partners are committed to supporting people experiencing domestic abuse in our communities.”

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