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At CHESS we want to help you get back on your feet after your recent experience.
You must appreciate that demand for the services we provide is very high so we can only accept those who are prepared to work with us to resolve their difficulties.
Please read all the information on this page carefully before you accept the bed-space offered by CHESS. The information is also available in leaflet form.
Before you are admitted you will need the following;
Our commitment to you
We will provide you with your own room for up to 28 days between the hours of 9am and 7pm, 7 days a week – although this is temporary during the pandemic and may change.
In return we expect
Please be aware that CHESS has a zero tolerance to alcohol and drugs, which are strictly banned from the Shelter
What will happen when I get to the shelter?
CHESS has seven single bedrooms. If you agree to commit yourself to working with CHESS staff to resolve your difficulties then you will be allocated a room. Your initial stay is for 28 nights which can be extended (provided you stick to the rules, remain homeless and pay your service charge. This will allow you sufficient time to agree a risk and needs assessment along with a support plan, which aims to help you with any problems and more permanent accommodation.
During the Covid-19 pandemic we have adjusted the shelter to accommodate service users should they need to self-isolate or quarantine which has meant reducing the number of bedrooms to 4. This may be temporary until such time as things return to normal.
We encourage residents to get jobs. Your contribution towards your keep will depend upon how much you earn.
We will aim to help support you and move you to independent accommodation subject to your behaviour and capabilities.
Anyone can become homeless and the causes are varied. Sleeping rough can be dangerous, very hard and cause damage to health. In fact, the longer someone sleeps rough, the greater the risk that they will become trapped on the streets and vulnerable to becoming a victim of abuse and crime, developing drug or alcohol problems, or experiencing problems with their health.
Rough sleepers may not be known to local services because they remain out of sight, bedding down at different times of day or night, and moving from place to place, but there are a number of other organisations and churches based in Chelmsford that also offer support to the homeless. If a member of the public is concerned about a rough sleeper they have seen they can prompt a referral from the Outreach Team through Streetlink at www.streetlink.org.uk. Our Outreach Team cover Chelmsford, Maldon, Epping, Rochford, Braintree, Brentwood, Castle Point & Uttlesford.
Not all rough sleepers are aware that advice and support is available to them. For those people who are sleeping rough CHESS can support by providing food & drinks, hygiene and laundry facilities, sleeping bags, clothing and toiletries.
Shelter Opening Times:
Currently 7 days a week, 7am – 10pm
CHESS Homeless operates a ‘Change Programme’ that helps those single adults who have become homeless regain control of their lives. We offer each service user (this is a term we use to describe our guests) an opportunity to move through the Change Programme and onto either, supported or independent accommodation. There is also scope to become an employee under our training and employment scheme.
CHESS Homeless work with several partners offering rehabilitation; training; independent accommodation;
job opportunities; mentors and much more.
Each one of our service users is assigned a Support Worker whilst they are with us. This helps to find the key opportunities and challenges that face the individual. The Support Worker’s role is to meet with the person regularly and help them to progress on with their life.
CHESS Change Programme includes: a direct access shelter where service users will have access to their own room, phone, internet and pc’s and washing and laundry facilities with access 24 hours, 7 days a week. Once in a position we will be able to move the service user onto our Annexe where they receive their front door key and can come and go as they please. There is continued support given to all of our service users from when they join CHESS. From the Annexe, service users will be given the opportunity to move onto one of our other move-on properties before moving out of CHESS into a more permanent accommodation. CHESS is only able to accommodate people for up to 2 years.
How do you find accommodation for someone who is or has been homeless?
Of course, registered social landlords, such as the Chelmer Housing Partnership, do provide accommodation for the single homeless people we deal with when it is available, but the process of registering with the local council and bidding for places can be long and quite intimidating.
We often find ourselves trying to persuade service users not to lose heart.
An alternative is to place the homeless person with a private landlord, but many private landlords are reluctant to house those on benefits or with a history of homelessness. Even when someone is placed in privately rented accommodation they can find themselves feeling isolated and can forget to do essential things like putting money aside to pay for food and rent.
We have been able to work with some landlords by offering to support both them and the tenant to make sure that the tenancy doesn’t break down. We are able to offer support to those moved into private accommodation, giving them advice on various matters, including the items needed to keep their new homes clean and tidy, Housing Benefit, living with others and more.
Could you be one of our landlords?
If you have a property you wish to let which you think might be suitable and would like to help those less fortunate than yourself, do please contact us through our office 01245 281104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Training & Development
CHESS offer training and development courses in various subjects which helps develop the skills base of our service users. This increases opportunities to secure future employment which aids the journey towards an independent lifestyle. We are able to offer access to certificated training courses in the following:
200 New London Road,
Chelmsford, Essex CM2 9AB