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Bristol: Street Intervention Service

3 September 2020

Unite Students helps Bristol’s homeless by supporting Street Intervention Service

Unite Students, with headquarters in Bristol, is helping to reduce the number of people living rough on the city’s streets. It has provided Bristol’s Street Intervention Service (SIS), with an office in the city centre and is funding a full-time substance misuse worker.

The SIS is a multi-agency initiative developed by the Streetwise Team in 2018. Streetwise first launched in Bristol in 2002. The team assesses needs in five key areas; accommodation, substance and alcohol misuse, behaviour, finances and health before bringing in support to try to tackle the root causes of anti-social behaviour.

Since March, and the outbreak of Covid-19, the SIS has helped get more than 200 people in Bristol onto prescriptions for methadone, a heroin substitute. And it has helped many others who were dependent on alcohol to begin detox programmes. In July alone, the SIS team made 33 referrals for housing support and 27 referrals to support individuals with substance abuse issues.

Councillor Paul Smith, Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said:

“We are really pleased to have partnered with Unite Students. It has enabled us to fund a Substance Misuse Worker, who has been able to get out there and support some of the most hard to reach members of society and in turn reduce the anti-social behaviour brought about by addiction.

“Unite Students has also provided the team with an amazing working space. This has proven invaluable, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, as it has given them a safe, central base to work from 24/7. This has enabled them to work as an effective multi-agency team to provide positive outcomes for the individuals they work with and the wider society.”