MARS is a Multi-Agency Rough Sleeper team, set up with funding from government to address street homelessness.
The MARS team is therefore a multi-agency team consisting of six intensive support workers, three outreach workers and a Coordinator, most working for Path but as a collaborative for the City.
The team is committed to working around the person (not the place) across outreach and accommodation provision to ensure more flexible, personalised and sustained support for rough sleepers moving off the streets. This intensive support is targeted at those most vulnerable to sleeping rough, providing consistency of support and engagement as people move from the street through a journey towards independent living in the community.
The Coordinator oversees the MARS team, including supervising and supporting the intensive support and outreach functions.
The Coordinator is therefore integral to the setting up and running of this initiative, focusing on not only reducing numbers of people who are street homeless (to as close to zero as possible) but people vulnerable to sleeping rough having more and better options.
The Rough Sleeper (RS) Coordinator is therefore also a member of the A2A Management Group, overseeing the placing of rough sleepers and other homeless people in temporary accommodation. The role is part of Plymouth’s partnership work to address homelessness, working at all times with partners in The Plymouth Alliance and beyond.
The RS Coordinator manages the team and its work, including:
- Guidance, support, setting priorities for the team
- One-to-one support and supervision
- Team meetings and development
- Overseeing attendance and cover, as necessary and in partnership with partners Other duties include:
- (other aspects of) Service and contract management (see below)
- Running the Plymouth RS Strategy Group (see below)
- Overseeing Plymouth’s Severe Weather Protocol, including implementation
- Plymouth’s annual RS count or estimate
- Participation in A2A (access to accommodation) management
- Overall, working with partner services and sectors to ensure considered and appropriate responses to rough sleeping.
Service and contract management
This post manages the MARS (and RS) service(s) and contract.
That means, overall, taking direct responsibility for relevant contracts and agreements, ensuring delivery, systems, reporting and accounting for them. This includes:
- Service delivery: ensuring, overseeing and managing all aspects of service delivery, outreach, intensive support and housing and holistic support
- Funds: authorising and monitoring payments from funds for temporary accommodation and personal budgets, ensuring appropriateness, prioritisation and affordability
- Risk: ensuring assessment, recording and management of all types of risk (to and from clients and more), with all relevant plans, alerting and follow up
- Ensuring active, accurate and timely record-keeping, including agreeing / developing systems and ensuring that recording is carried out thoroughly and efficiently
- Service monitoring, including active monitoring of provision of the service against contract and in terms of quality; ie this role continuously checks records as part of service monitoring and management
- Reporting, including meeting any and all contractual obligations for reporting, with a focus on understanding and meeting targets; this includes producing regular reports in line with and addressing all contract requirements and taking responsibility for all related communication.
- For the roles of the team/s this person manages, see below: MARS and RS Outreach.
One aspect of this post is constantly seeking accommodation to end or prevent a person being street homeless. That will usually be in temporary accommodation, access to which is via Plymouth’s A2A system, which is overseen by a small group of managers, the RS Coordinator being one. These managers oversee, prioritise and support access to and use of temporary accommodation overall.
The MARS House is a shared house for people with complex needs and no other accommodation options. This is temporary accommodation but not necessarily short term. Members of the team visit daily to provide support and housing management but the Coordinator needs to:
- Manage referrals, sign ups and voids
- Risk: ensuring assessment, recording and management of all types of risk (to and from clients and more), with all relevant plans, alerting and follow up. Ie Leading on risk assessments and plans for the service.
- Agree and sign off expenditure for the property with Resettlement Manager
- Provide guidance and deal with day-to-day issues
- Engage with external agencies linked to the house: Police, Livewell Complex Needs Team, Harbour, Hep C Trust.
RS Strategy Group
The Coordinator runs this Group which is responsible for the review, further development and implementation of Plymouth’s Rough Sleeping plans. The Coordinator will take a lead role in development work, linking and supporting Plymouth’s services for rough sleepers, working to prevent and to end people sleeping rough in Plymouth; the RS Coordinator is also a central point of contact for rough sleeping issues in Plymouth.
Tasks related to running the Strategy Group include:
- planning meetings, including producing documents
- acting as a channel for news, developments, good practice, local / govt strategies
- ensuring that the minutes and other papers are distributed promptly.
General / other
- Building relationships, and ongoing liaison, with Police, housing, drugs and other agencies, including developing and maintaining referral procedures (taking and making referrals).
- Participation in Path Operational Management and staff meetings & follow up work
- Contributing to reports, literature and presentations on Path’s work
- Assessing, authorising or recommending hardship payments, in line with procedures
- Providing support to staff at Risk Management meetings for clients
- Chairing professionals’ meetings for clients
- Contributing to reviewing, developing and implementing relevant policies
- Other duties as required by Director
- Compliance with Path Worker Conditions
Service delivery that this role manages
MARS Team Duties
Below is information about the role of the MARS team, which this role manages. The team will:
- Provide support to people sleeping rough or at risk of it, preventing street homelessness and enabling quicker and better responses and for those already out. The team aims to get people into accommodation, often temporary in the short term but then settled, therefore arranging accommodation where possible, as well as enabling and helping people move and settle into their own accommodation, whether private or social.
- Provide the ‘support’ element of the existing Housing First pilot plan with Plymouth Community Homes and other landlords. The current shared supported accommodation offer does not suit some of the most complex and vulnerable of this cohort and this is a much needed alternative to enable any move on at all.
- Manage and oversee the MARS House and related provision: this role and team provide temporary accommodation to people with no other housing options.
- Provide ongoing support to those vulnerable to sleeping rough through Safe Space and other provision (temp and short term accommodation) to prevent returns to the street
The Rough Sleeper Team
Duties and tasks overseen and supported by this role.
- Scheduled early morning outreach sessions: through these, workers identify people sleeping rough, check identities and needs and work to motivate change. Path works with the Police and others to encourage people off the street and into hostels. These will include 6.00 a.m. starts some weekdays.
- Additional outreach: to find and support those reported to be rough sleeping and provide follow up support based around engaging with and motivating people, encouraging and enabling them to utilise relevant services and move off the street; including responding to phone calls from public and others
Interventions are short pieces of work to advise or support people actually sleeping rough or at real risk of doing so. They can include: Reconnections; Support / referral into accommodation; Short-term case work, housing-related or regarding other relevant needs; Referral on to other services / support.
When relevant, implementing the City action plan involves the whole MARS team. This includes pro-active and assertive work with rough sleepers to move them into accommodation and also ensuring and supporting mental health assessments of clients on the street.
RS Targets and reporting
This role includes working to specific targets and monitoring, including regarding:
- % of newly identified rough sleepers helped to leave the streets within 2 weeks of identification
- Number of rough sleepers supported to access supported accommodation
- % of rough sleepers reconnected where reconnection policy applies
- Number of multi-agency cases with support plans in place
- Maintaining the numbers of rough sleepers as close to zero as possible
- % of people supported to access primary health care where relevant
The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.