Through the Gate: John finds a home thanks to Shelter

Through the Gate: John finds a home thanks to Shelter image

Humberside Lincolnshire & North Yorkshire CRC (HLNY) commissions Shelter to run the Through The Gate service across Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire.

Through The Gate makes sure that each prisoner has a resettlement plan starting before their release to prepare them for leaving jail. Our aim is to make sure that they do not reoffend. The service we commission aims to assess the needs of people in prison so that following release they can successfully rehabilitate in their community.

Almost half of all adults leaving prison are reconvicted within a year and Shelter’s offender management and rehabilitation service focuses on building strong relationships with service users, providing long-term support to promote positive outcomes and reduce reoffending.

A charity, Shelter works closely with HLNY CRC, the National Probation Service, police and other criminal justice and resettlement agencies.

Working with Shelter, HLNY CRC’s Through the Gate service aims to work with prisoners to carry out an analysis of an individual’s circumstances with regards to their needs within the seven custodial pathways identified to reduce reoffending, including accommodation; finance, benefits and debt; employment, training and educational advice; health; drugs and alcohol; children and families and attitudes, thinking and behaviours.

Information from all pathways and interventions is contained within the resettlement plan which follows the individual through the gate for continued support post release.

One offender to benefit from the support of Shelter was John, who was made homeless after terminating his tenancy with a supported accommodation provider in Rotherham due to the length of his sentence. John was a prolific offender in the community and had a long history of both alcohol and heroin abuse.

Whilst in custody he had completed a detox programme and worked closely with a drug and alcohol team.

Shelter’s Andy Kirk said: “When we completed the John’s pre-release assessment he was adamant that he did not want to return to Rotherham as his associates in that area would have a negative influence on him and after he become totally free of methadone and completed an alcohol detox programme.

“We liaised with both the John’s offender manager and the drug and alcohol team (DART) to devise a plan that was both acceptable to the John, as well as being realistic. We first of all invited the John to our finance and budgeting workshop where he was assisted with setting up a bank account for his use upon release.

“John was also for referred to Emmaus in Hull which accepted John’s referral after we explained how well he had engaged with support and his determination to complete a recovery plan, however they had no vacancies coming up near to his release date.”
Emmaus supports more than 750 formerly homeless people, by providing them with a home for as long as they need it and meaningful work in our social enterprises. There are plans to increase this to 1,000 places by 2020.

Emmaus Hull referred him to Emmaus in Preston, Lancashire as they did have vacancies around the time of the SU’s release date and two days prior to the John’s release Emmaus in Preston confirmed it would accept his application and they offered him a room and work within their project on the day of his release.

Andy Kirk said: “Partnership working was the key to achieving this positive outcome for John. Because we were working in partnership with the John’s support including his probation case manager and DART worker any concerns or issues raised by Emmaus could be answered and this was vital in accommodation being secured with them.”