North Ayrshire Council (the Council) provides advice and information to prevent homelessness and to assist homeless households to understand their rights, by providing an accredited in-house advice service within the Housing Services Homeless Advice Team (HAT). This free advice service is available to anyone over the age of 16 and is tailored to meet to individual needs and circumstances.
Delivery of an independent advice, advocacy and information service across North Ayrshire will enhance the existing in-house provision and ensure the Council meets its statutory obligations. There is likely to be an increasing need for advocacy as indicated by an aging population and levels of deprivation.
As part of the latest Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) recommendations, during the current coronavirus pandemic the service should ensure communication is accessible to everyone to obtain advocacy.
The Council requires to contract a Service which can provide independent advice, advocacy and information provision for households at risk of homelessness. The Service Provider must also advocate on behalf of homeless people throughout the homelessness process, assisting them to enforce their statutory rights. As homelessness is not only a housing issue, we are looking for the Service Provider to adopt a pro-active approach to preventing homelessness.
The Council therefore requires the Provider of this Service to develop and deliver educational packages for the 9 secondary schools within North Ayrshire in addition to youth groups and colleges, to support the commitment of the Council to prevent youth homelessness and raise the awareness of the reality of homelessness and to address the increase in homeless presentations from young people to prevent future homelessness from this group.
Full details of the tender can be found here.