The Accomodation Gateway supports clients to find and maintain suitable accommodation. We work with people who are currently subject to statutory supervision by Devon & Cornwall Probation Trust living in Devon (excluding Torbay and Plymouth). Access is by referral only via Devon & Cornwall Probation Trust, who fund the service.
The Accommodation Gateway Project works with offenders and ex-offenders to access and secure appropriate accommodation. We also provide advice, guidance and advocacy on housing, welfare, benefits and money issues, as well as seeking out income streams, charitable funding and look at ways of maximising benefits. Where appropriate, the Gateway provides a ‘rent spend’ fund to assist clients with deposit costs, which is then reimbursed through a repayment plan.
Once in a tenancy we work closely with Probation’s floating support service, to help the client to sustain the accommodation.
Finding and then maintaining suitable accommodation is a vital aspect of the community reintegration process. Reducing re-offending rates is important to local communities, and secure, safe, affordable accommodation is a vital step to achieving this. Once accommodation has been secured we can put clients in touch with drug, alcohol and mental health agencies and debt advisers if needed.
For more details, please get in touch with your Offender Manager at Probation
It is well recognized that a large number of people the courts deal with have issues and problems that have contributed in some way to their involvement with the criminal justice system. The CASS desk provides advice and signposting to offenders and their families to help address those issues. We work closely with other agencies to ensure that clients can access support in a timely fashion. The staff and volunteers at the CASS desk are independent of the courts, but work collaboratively with criminal justice agencies.
We will try to support anyone who needs it, but the CASS desk is specifically aimed at first time and/or ‘low level’ offenders who have not received a community order. This can often mean that they get lost in the system and find it difficult to access support. We hope that by accessing the support they need earlier, clients will be less likely to re-offend. The CASS desk is ‘open access’, meaning you can just come along and ask for advice. We are present at Exeter Magistrates Court every Tuesday between 10am and 4pm.
There will be a dedicated room where you can talk in confidence with one of our volunteers.
Clients can either self refer, or they may be signposted by Exeter Magistrates Court. We will meet with you and do a simple, confidential assessment to work out what kind of support you might need. We will then help you to access the right services – there is support out there, but it isn’t always easy to know how to access it. Our staff and volunteers will have access to the internet and a phone to help you make appointments, look up information etc.
Common issues that we can help with:
– Alcohol and substance misuse
-Financial assistance, welfare and benefits advice
-Homelessness, housing and accommodation, and employement support
-Domestic violence, childcare and family matters
– Prison support
From October 2012 – March 2013, we have been part of a pilot project, commissioned by Devon & Cornwall Probation Trust, to assess and, as appropriate, refer clients who have been remanded in custody for bail accommodation. The aim of this service is to reduce the numbers of people held in custody because they do not have a suitable bail address. The Bail Support Service operates Monday to Friday, from 8.30am until midday, and requires staff to interview clients, decide if they are suitable for bail accommodation, and if so, make appropriate referrals to bail accommodation providers. A report is prepared for each client, including any confirmed bail placement, should bail be granted, which is a part of Probation’s presentation to the court for approval that day.