SPEAR is a charity based in South West London, which helps homeless people to access accommodation, and those at risk of homelessness to maintain their accommodation. Founded by members of the local community in Richmond, SPEAR opened its night shelter in 1987 to help rough sleepers in the borough have a temporary place to stay for the night. Since then, the charity has expanded to provide services including street outreach services, emergency accommodation for rough sleepers, tenancy finding facilities, a service providing support to veterans of the British Armed Forces and projects working specifically with young people.
Local MP Vince Cable said of the organisation:
“I have worked a lot with SPEAR. It is absolutely invaluable to have a ‘back stop’ for the homeless who cannot be helped by the council. SPEAR has prevented a lot of people having to sleep in the streets”
SPEAR has recently received funding for a new resettlement programme working within Richmond, Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth. The service aims to resettle clients into private rented accommodation in South West London. With this in mind, the Resettlement Team are currently looking for landlords primarily with single bedroom flats, houses and studios with rental prices that are set within the Local Housing Allowance.
Landlords enjoy a multitude of benefits by working with SPEAR. No fees or commission are charged for this service and we arrange for rent to be paid directly to the landlord, eliminating the risk of rent arrears. SPEAR also utilise their 25 years’ experience to ensure all paperwork is completed hassle-free and only place clients that have been thoroughly assessed and found suitable. SPEAR provides ongoing support to property owners and clients for the first year of the tenancy, acting as a point of contact for both Landlord and tenant.
Once a tenant moves into a property, SPEAR co-ordinate the entire process for both parties, such as organising Housing Benefit claims, setting up utilities, signposting to other local services, and managing any needs through regular support reviews. The careful, tailored approach taken by SPEAR in assessing the suitability of tenants for the privately rented sector has seen fantastic results, with 100% of landlords in Richmond renewing their contracts after the initial 12 months, and zero tenancy failures.
As well as helping clients find accommodation, the Resettlement Service provides ongoing support. Clients can access support to develop their skills and progress towards employment through SPEAR and benefit from SPEAR’s sustained ‘pathway’ from rough sleeping to an independent life away from the streets. SPEAR is proud to have supported thousands of homeless people to transform their lives and build independent futures since its formation in 1986.
By providing accommodation, Landlords will be enabling the people we work with to have a home in a safe and stable environment. If you own suitable property in West or South West London and would be interested in getting involved in this beneficial and fulfilling project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7036 9765.