Tackling Oxfordshire's homeless crisis The homeless situation in Oxfordshire is at crisis point. Aspire have been supporting homeless people into employment for over 17 years, and now we’re delighted to step up and be part of ground-breaking new approaches to tackling the homeless crisis. We are proud to showcase the new and innovative ways that Aspire is working in partnership to address our community’s homelessness situation and protect vulnerable people from becoming homeless. Breaking the cycle of homelessness Aspire supports homeless people to build their skills & resilience, help them find employment and housing and tackle the wider issues that could put them at risk of becoming homeless again. Our enterprise businesses offer work experience, help homeless people to move into independent housing & refurbish void properties to bring them back into use. Aspire’s Welfare Fund provides training, ID, white goods and homestarter packs. Preventing homelessness: Trailblazer Once people are caught in the cycle of homelessness, it can be very difficult to get out. Preventing people from losing their homes in the first place is critical to tackling the homeless crisis: since May, Aspire’s new Trailblazer team have engaged with over 100 vulnerable local people, working with other agencies to give them the skills and advice they urgently need to protect them from becoming homeless. This is Karen’s story: Karen started rough sleeping after losing her job and was struggling with addiction. She was supported by The Salvation Army into social housing and was referred to our Trailblazer team when she fell into rent arrears due to problems accessing her Universal Credit. Karen was overwhelmed by her situation and couldn’t see a way out. One of our Community Navigators Jessica worked with The Salvation Army and Karen’s housing provider to sort out her Universal Credit, help her access a bank account and build the skills and resilience to overcome future challenges and stay in her home. Tackling rough sleeping Aspire is delighted to be part of a new multi-agency hub in Bonn Square for rough sleepers to reduce the number of people on the streets this winter. We’ll be providing specialist employment support alongside other services in the hub and, as ever, welcome the chance to work in partnership to help rough sleepers get the support they need to rebuild their lives. Aspire’s own enterprise businesses helped to refurbish the hub ready to use, so we’ve been involved from the outset, and are delighted that the doors are now open. Providing safe housing We’re really excited to launch our new 6 bed housing project with A2 Dominion and Oxford City Council, providing housing and employment support for previously rough sleepers with low level support needs. This house is their first major step towards positive, lasting change and we’re thrilled to help make it happen.