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Derventio’s award-winning homeless scheme Home4Me is extended for another year

Derventio’s award-winning homeless scheme Home4Me is extended for another year

An award-winning Derby scheme which works one-to-one with homeless people who have struggled to keep a roof over their heads has been extended for a further year.


Home4Me, which is operated by Derventio Housing Trust, has been given a further year’s funding thanks to the Government Rough Sleeper Initiative grant, following a successful bid by Derby City Council earlier this year.

The funds were allocated by Derby Homes, which manages homelessness on behalf of the Council, so that the project can continue to give rough sleepers who have tried but failed to move into their own accommodation another opportunity to develop the skills to live independently. The scheme was originally launched in 2018 and currently has 18 people on the books, all of whom have been given their own secure room at various Derventio properties around the city.

As well as giving them a warm and secure accommodation, Derventio works alongside them to help them get to grips with the challenges of living in their own home and deal with issues such as mental illness or alcohol dependency. By taking such a bespoke and flexible approach, it aims to break the cycle of rough sleepers who are either refused accommodation by private landlords or who have been ejected from such accommodation in the past.

Home4Me, which was praised by former Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, when he visited Derby in January 2019, broke new ground when it was launched because of the way that it was funded, with Derventio paid only when a participant had stayed in their accommodation for six months, rather than receiving its money up front.

Six months is far longer than the majority of the participants had ever lived independently under one roof before, but the scheme was so successful, with 90% of people keeping their accommodation over the first two years – 20 people started the scheme originally - that Derventio is now paid to keep 18 spaces just for this group of people.

Home4Me is run by housing officers Emily Williams and Megan Rose, who give participants all the help and guidance they need in order to keep their accommodation or work to overcome the challenges that have caused them problems in the past. Emily, who was previously a teacher before deciding to work with homeless people, welcomed the extension to the project, which has come after a difficult year in which the many challenges already faced by the participants were multiplied by the restrictions brought in under the Covid-19 lockdown.

In particular, she said that the social isolation and the closure of organisations that offer well-being and therapy services had hit the scheme’s residents hard at what is already a difficult time of their lives.

She said:

“We always say that anyone can become homeless at any point during their lives and there is a range of people on our scheme, all of whom have deep-seated and complex challenges that prevent them from staying in accommodation in the past.

“Incredibly, some of them haven’t slept in a bed for years but are equally unsuited to hostel accommodation for a variety of reasons and so have nowhere to go before they are referred to us.

“They’ve had a really tough year because of the coronavirus and, although we’ve had some success stories, I’m looking forward to seeing more of residents take the next step by moving into their accommodation, so I’m very grateful that we have the funding in place to help


Figures from Derventio showed that, nine months after Home4Me was first launched, not only were 19 of the original 20 still in their accommodation, three had found work, one had been enrolled in university, two were on work-related courses and eight were volunteering regularly.

Jackie Carpenter, assistant director of strategy at Derventio Housing Trust, said:

“We’re incredibly proud of everything we have achieved with Home4Me, which was hugely innovative and a hallmark of the very different approach that we take.

“Emily and Megan have an excellent relationship with the participants on the scheme and there are plenty of success stories in the making. This funding means that those stories can continue and people can put their days of sleeping rough well behind them.”

For more information on Derventio Housing Trust, visit

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