How we support people rough sleeping in Reading

Street Support Reading – information portal

Our Street Support website provides lots of information on where to find food, support, advice and accommodation. It is for people who are experiencing homelessness right now, who are at risk of homelessness and for members of the public who want to signpost others or donate their time or money to Reading’s local services.

Reading’s Homelessness Partnership (HoP)

This is a partnership of charities and statutory organisations working together to end rough sleeping and homelessness in Reading. The Reading HoP is facilitated by the charity Street Support Network and we meet every two months to plan and action projects and strategies for preventing and relieving homelessness in the borough. This includes developing a delivery plan and providing governance for Reading’s Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019 – 2024.

Homelessness Support Services

Compared to other local authority areas, Reading has substantial voluntary sector provision and support for rough sleepers, with significant levels of funding from the local authority, even at a time of severe budget pressures. Collectively we call the services that the Council funds our Homelessness Support Services.

Floating support service – Launchpad Reading

Floating Support aims to prevent homelessness by equipping people with the skills to remain in their property where appropriate or enabling people to source more suitable accommodation

  • Open access drop in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10am and 2pm
  • Telephone and email support for general enquiries, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm
  • Tier 1 Floating Support which consists of light touch support for up to 12 weeks
  • Tier 2 Floating Support which consists of an allocated key worker and support for up to 6 months
  • ​A MEAM Coordinator responsible for ensuring the MEAM approach is employed across the borough and that clients experiencing multiple disadvantages have fair access to services

Rough Sleeping Outreach and Response Services – St. Mungo’s

Aims to reduce numbers of people sleeping rough in Reading by supporting them in a person centred and psychologically informed way, encouraging them to make informed choices and to develop life skills.

  • Based at Willow House (the Hub) for easy access
  • Provide daily assertive outreach to verify and engage people sleeping rough
  • Identify appropriate housing solutions to move people from the streets into sustainable accommodation
  • Prepare rough sleepers for accessing accommodation and 3 weeks resettlement support provided
  • Co-ordinate access to Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) accommodation and emergency/assessment bed spaces at the Hub
  • Navigators in the team to provide specialist end-to-end support (streets resettlement) to ensure people do not return to the streets. Specialist support is for:
    • vulnerable women
    • those with limited access to pubic funds
    • people choosing to bed down whilst housed
    • those requiring out of hour (evenings and weekends) support to manage their front door and prevent anti-social behaviours
  • A weekly drop-in for those sleeping rough with limited access to public funds to facilitate immigration outcomes and voluntary reconnections

Intensive and Engaging (I&E) Support Services – The Salvation Army

Provides wrap around, multi-disciplinary support directed in a person-centred way by skilled staff with an appreciation for the importance of trauma informed care. Support to increase self-confidence and self-esteem, improve health, reduce offending, substance misuse and isolation.

Willow House Hub

Willow House is a homeless ‘Hub’ bringing various statutory and non-statutory professionals, to one location, to increase and simplify the journey for people wanting to access support.

  • Accommodation for single people and couples
  • 36 individual rooms for 6-12 months stay
  • Self-contained areas for 2 individual (or 2 couples) to occupy a foldaway bed overnight in an emergency rough sleeping situation (referrals from St Mungo’s only)
  • 4 assessment rooms
  • Staff on site 24/7
  • Full-board catering for residents

Shepton House

Additional bed spaces as an alternative and complementary intensive and engaging environment to the Hub

  • 20 beds within shared ‘cluster’ flats
  • Staff on site during office hours and on-call facility 24/7 from Hub
  • Self-catering facilities

Working Towards Independence (WTI) supported accommodation – Launchpad

Offers clients safe accommodation with a bespoke package of personalised support, enabling them to sustain long term independent accommodation and a fulfilled, positive future.

  • 100 bed spaces across 20 properties, predominantly on licence agreements and with move-on within 6 to 12 months
  • All clients have an allocated and dedicated support worker with support focusing on long term tenancy sustainment
  • Wrap-around support for clients with higher support needs
  • Trauma and gender-informed support, facilitated within a psychologically informed environment
  • Support offered via one-to-one sessions, individualised support plan, group work and activities, peer-to-peer mentoring

The Nova Project – St Mungo’s

A specialist women’s service that provides intensive 24/7 supported accommodation to 10 female clients who have formerly slept rough. It is a safe place for residents to call home, with essential professional support and oversight to ensure their safety, recovery and progression.

  • Accommodation for single women
  • 10 bed spaces for up to 2 or 3 years (as needed/wanted)
  • Staff on site 24/7
  • Recovery based support for women with complex needs including mental health, substance use, offending and with their children and families
  • Trauma and gender informed supported facilitated within a psychologically informed environment

Caversham Road Pods – St Mungo’s

Modular self-contained units that provide intensive 24/7 supported accommodation to 40 people who have formerly slept rough. It is a safe place for residents to call home, with the essential professional support and oversight to ensure their safety, recovery and progression.

  • Accommodation for men and women without dependents
  • Couples are accommodated within separate units, with move-on planned and supported as a couple
  • 40 self-contained studio units for up to 2 or 3 years (as needed/wanted)
  • Staff on site 24/7
  • Recovery-based support with complex needs including mental health, substance use and offending
  • Trauma and gender informed supported facilitated within a psychologically informed environment

Housing First and Couples Pathway – St Mungo’s

Prioritises moving those who are rough sleeping, or at risk of rough sleeping, who have complex and multiple needs into stable permanent homes without having to prove that they are ‘housing ready’. This means there are no conditions placed on them to adhere to engaging with support with drug or alcohol misuse, or their mental health; just to adhere to their tenancy agreement terms. Intensive support is wrapped around them ensuring it is available ‘as and when’ that individual is ready to engage with the support on offer. It provides choice and control to people who will have been repeatedly excluded from other supported accommodation and keep returning to rough sleeping.

  • Permanent and secure tenancy offers for men, women and couples without dependents
  • 20 units for Housing First
  • 6 units for couples with multiple/complex needs
  • Intensive support due to small support worker case-numbers and flexible ways of working focussed on housing and tenancy sustainment first

Accommodation for Ex-Offenders Project (AfEO) – Reading Borough Council

Specialist project focusing on reducing the number of people who are released from custody and find themselves homeless or at risk of rough sleeping. Those with repeated offending histories are identified as a group at risk of cyclical homelessness. AfEO comprises a holistic team to source and support with sustaining private rented sector tenancies for people being released from custody who can manage independently.

  • Assessing suitability for the project and sourcing accommodation as near to release as possible to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping
  • Tenancy sustainment support to ensure that their new home is set-up and sustained

Multiple Disadvantage Outreach Team (MDOT) -Change. Grow. Live (CGL)

Provide an assertive response, improved support and recovery outcomes to those experiencing rough sleeping who have drug and alcohol dependencies and mental/physical health support needs.

  • Work closely with outreach teams on the streets to identify and support those who find it difficult to access mainstream drug and alcohol support services
  • Out of hours (evening and weekend) support
  • Working towards scripting, detox and rehab opportunities as appropriate to the individual
  • Providing access to physical health support for those who find accessing GP services challenging and access to mental health support for those who have experienced several incidents of trauma, or difficulty accessing mainstream mental health support

Enquiries regarding referrals can be made via the main CGL service on 0118 955 733.

Health Outreach Liaison Team (HOLT) – Berkshire NHS

Supports people who are finding it difficult to access mainstream health services, due to homelessness, living in supported accommodation or in emergency housing. Enables them to visit bespoke drop-in clinics and speak to a care nurse, mental health professionals and/or senior support workers about mental and physical health conditions and help.

  • No appointment, referral, ID or proof of address needed
  • Assessment and referrals to the GP, dentist or optician (if needed/wanted)
  • Sexual health, pregnancy testing, advice and support
  • Offer outreach clinics:
    • CIRDIC – every Monday 11am – 1:30pm
    • Outreach – every Tuesday 7 – 9 am

To be referred or to refer someone into any of our Homelessness Support Services, please call the council on 0118 937 2165 (or our number is 01344 351 999 after 5pm) or email If you don’t have access to a phone or email (or if you need a safe space) you can visit the Civic Offices from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Last updated on 13/02/2023