The Homeless Intervention Team (HIT) is a multi disciplinary care management team for homeless people with complex care needs.
Many homeless people need intensive support to help them through their housing process. They may have mental or physical health problems, drug or alcohol problems, or they may have other complex needs such as gambling or addiction issues. In such cases people can be referred to the Homeless Intervention Team.
The team is made up of five social workers, one community psychiatric nurse, and two housing support officers. Three members of the team are Approved Mental Health Professionals.
The people we work with include people who sleep rough on the streets, people in hostels, temporary accommodation, and people who are at risk of becoming street homeless.
Hoarding, living in squalor, self-neglect and the inability to manage a tenancy can all be reasons for a referral to our team, if the resident has a history of homelessness, and is not already linked into other services.
The Homeless Intervention Team work assertively, flexibly, and intensively with homeless people. We seek to facilitate their engagement with appropriate services and will provide encouragement and support, escorting people to appointments if needed. If people disengage from other services, we work persistently and assertively to try and maintain contact. We will visit homeless people on the streets, and often out of normal working hours.
The team works with people with severe and enduring mental health problems, facilitating their engagement with mental health services and monitoring their mental state and compliance with treatment. Our Community Psychiatric Nurse is able to administer depot medication in the community. The team also conduct Mental Health Act assessments for homeless people who may need a psychiatric hospital admission.
- Referral Procedure
Referrals can be made in writing, by email, or by phone, face to face. Service users are able to self refer.
If a service user is not rough sleeping but at risk of homelessness, the team would expect referals up to 56 days prior to the even as specified in the Homeless Reduction Act 2018.
- Safeguarding Adults
The team has two Safeguarding Adults Managers (SAMs) and three Safeguarding Investigators within the team and a further two within the wider housing department.
The Team respond to Safeguarding Alerts regarding people in hostels, temporary accommodation, care homes, or regarding people who are street homeless. Safeguarding cases are managed and investigated in line with the council’s Safeguarding Adults Procedures.
All progress notes regarding a client’s safeguarding journey will be logged on the borough’s Mosaic database. Information is logged according to the standards expected by the Borough’s safeguarding board.
The team leader will check safeguarding input into the database to ensure that information is correctly logged with time limits met and good evidence of service user involvement.
- Care Management
If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness and has additional mental health needs you may benefit from the support of a care manager.
Appropriate referrals will be allocated to a care manager who will either be a social worker or a community psychiatric nurse.
The care manager will meet with the homeless person to complete an assessment of their needs. A care plan will be produced to formalise the support and actions to be provided, including the role of other services involved.
The care plan will be regularly reviewed every 6 months to decide whether the care stays the same, or whether it needs to be changed.
Homeless people are often reluctant to engage with services or to consider making changes in their lives. It can take months or years to achieve positive change for some people. Successful outcomes depend on us working closely with many other services including Street Outreach workers, Voluntary Sector drop-in centres, council housing department workers, hostels for homeless people, General Practitioners, mental health services, drug and alcohol services, and hospitals.
- Housing Support Officers
If the Housing department place you in temporary accommodation, you may need assistance with settling in. This may include help with linking into local services, help to sort out your benefits, help with utilities and other practical issues.
If you would like to make a referral for assistance, or would like to speak to someone, the team can be contacted by both telephone or email
- Email: [email protected]
- Tel 0207 938 8211
If you would like further information about the team see the attached team protocol.