THE leader of a Worcester charity for homeless people says better psychological support has reduced the number of people asked to leave the city's hostel and the number of emergency police visits.

Leaders at St Paul's Hostel in Tallow Hill, Worcester are now studying ways they can tackle some of the long-term issues which cause homelessness as the charity looks beyond the Covid-19 crisis to find solutions.

St Paul’s Hostel has formed a partnership with Tristan Palmer Studio, a Worcestershire-based company, as charity leaders seek to get to the root of homelessness which is more than just rough sleeping.

Tristan Palmer worked with the rebranding of St Paul’s in 2018 and the annual The Big Sleep Out hosted by Warriors Community Foundation.

Hostel chief executive Jonathan Sutton said: "The Covid emergency demonstrated, when there is political will then the bureaucratic regulations governing access to the housing system were jettisoned overnight and most rough sleepers were able to move off the street.

"But we must explain that rough sleeping is only a small part of the homeless problem and many homeless people remain unseen. It is those hardy-perennials that still bedevil us such health inequalities, insufficient good quality and affordable accommodation and the scarring effect of poverty.”

St Paul’s Hostel has embedded 'Psychologically Informed Environments' leading to over 90 per cent reductions in the number of people asked to leave due to unmanageable behaviours and nearly 60 per cent reduction in police emergency visits.

Tristan Palmer, owner of the local design firm said: “In early 2018, we began working with the inspiring team at St Paul’s to rebrand their organisation, which was driven by their desire to reposition St Paul’s to better reflect their new strategy.

"We are delighted to now be continuing our work with their team, to create a new digital home for the organisation, which will help continue their journey towards changing preconceptions."

TPS will be working with St Paul’s to overhaul the website, and create campaigns that deliver messages to help grow general public support for long-term solutions. Some of the enduring myths about homelessness will be tackled such as who is really at highest risk of homelessness, and the true costs to society.

Mr Sutton said: “We recognise our limits. Our model has transformed to create the conditions where every resident has the chance to help themselves and recover but national government have the levers to improve poverty, childhood adversity and inadequate housing and local government can use its regulatory and convening power to coordinate local systemic changes. Give the public these insights and ask them to lobby those who represent us.”

St Paul’s has ten trustees bringing skills from local and international business, mental health, local government, education, housing and the law.