In many ways O’Hanlon House has always been as assessment centre, as we were normally the first place people came when they were homeless.
The New Oxfordshire Homelessness Pathway formalised this, and gave us a specific role to assess people entering the pathway, ensure they were suitable and eligible, and then to either divert them away from the pathway, or refer them to other suitable projects.
This is for people aged 18+ who are rough sleeping in Oxfordshire, or deemed to be in other priority need.
For verified rough sleepers, entry is via Oxford SPOT or Connection Outreach Service. For those not currently rough sleeping but likely to become street homeless, access is via the Pathway Coordination team.
Entry to the Assessment Centre is subject to local connection and access to public funds.
Assessment takes place over a maximum 4 week period. Most Assessment Centre rooms are single with en-suite facilities. Rooms for couples are also available. A limited number of pets can be accommodated, subject to behaviour. A hot evening meal and breakfast are included in the weekly fee of £28. This covers items not paid for by County Council funding or Housing Benefit (eg food, cleaning, heating and lighting).
At the end of the assessment process, clients are given a Single Move On Offer. Depending on the client’s needs and availability of next-step accommodation, this might be to O’Hanlon House’s Resettlement Floor or to another homeless pathway provider. Ideally, it will be off the pathway and into independent accommodation though, at this early stage, this might not be realistic.
Other facilities include:
- Access to medical services through Luther Street Medical Centre
- Advice on needle exchange and substance-misuse harm reduction
- Mental health workers coming to work with clients within the hostel
- Step Up – our training, education and activities programme
- Links with local sporting, leisure and cultural activities
- Laundry facilities
- Separate areas for the consumption of alcohol
- Partnership working with a variety of supporting organisations such as Turning Point, Aspire, Crisis Skylight and Elmore Community Services