In Focus: The Homeless Inclusion Team

22 April 2022
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The Homeless Inclusion Team (HIT) at St George’s Hospital provides vital support to the more vulnerable patients that are treated at St George’s.

This can range from helping outpatients navigate the benefits system, finding suitable accommodation, or simply providing clothing. For patients that don’t meet the criteria for support, the Team will always offer advice and signpost patients to organisations or services that may be able to offer help.

The Charity has helped support the Homelessness Inclusion Team by providing vouchers to fund clothing and essential start-up packs for homeless and vulnerable patients being discharged. As Rhian Clugston, Care Navigator, said, some patients don’t even have “something as basic as a mug and a plate.”

Rhian elaborated: The vouchers mean that we can provide patients with some dignity, having new clothes to leave the hospital in rather than donated second-hand ones.

“Within a budget, they can choose things they like rather than accept what they are given. Again, it is the simple things that many of us take for granted that can help someone rebuild their confidence and help them to feel accepted and a part of society”.

“Many of our patients experience prejudice from services so being dressed in current clothes and not second-hand ones can go some way to avoiding this and being accepted.

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Recently the HIT were able to support a patient who was made homeless due to illness, using the vouchers to help provide the patient with the basics and essentials for their new home.

Rhian explained: “He was very unwell and was in the hospital for a number of months, but he has responded well to treatment and was able to leave the hospital and manage his chronic condition in the community, with ongoing specialist support at St George’s.

“The Team were able to support him to present to the council and they were allocated their own secure tenancy.

“When he moved into the flat it was totally empty, and whilst the council could support with providing white goods and a bed, he was expected to provide the things that make it a home such as curtains, rugs etc. The vouchers that the Charity donated meant he was able to do this.

“Adding the small things that people take for granted add comfort and personality to a home which can make a real difference to someone’s confidence and feelings of self-worth.”

Head of Grants, Vivien Gunn said: “We’re really proud to be able to help provide support to members of our community who need it most, and we look forward to developing our relationship with the Homeless Inclusion Team.”

You can help us support the patients who visit our hospitals and our hardworking staff by donating today, alternatively, you can leave a message of thanks which are shared with our staff.

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