Kent Homeless Connect from Kent County Council
Kent Homeless Connect was set up by Kent County Council in 2018 to bring together a wealth of experience and create a fairer, more accessible and consistent service for people who are homeless and those at risk of losing their homes, wherever they happen to be in Kent.
Homelessness charity Porchlight delivers support services in East and Mid Kent, while Look Ahead delivers services in North and West Kent on behalf of KCC.
Porchlight and Look Ahead then lead a network of other support organisations in their areas and work with KCC to develop services and provide a holistic approach to supporting homeless individuals. This network includes The Riverside Group social housing. Together we also work in collaboration with our colleagues in district and local councils, who can refer in to the service from anywhere in Kent.
About Kent County Council
Kent is home to 1.58 million people: making it the most populated county in England. With an annual expenditure of over £1 billion, Kent County Council operates in partnership with 12 district councils and 289 parish & town councils, seeking to improve the lives of all Kent’s residents and provide the best possible support to those that need it. We have a responsibility to support people with specific needs to live independent and fulfilled lives safely in their local community. That’s why we launched the Kent Homeless Connect partnership in 2018 to create a fairer, more accessible, and consistent service for vulnerable adult residents with complex needs, impacted by homelessness.
Porchlight has almost 50 years’ experience providing trusted homelessness, housing, mental health, and community services in Kent. We work across professional and organisational boundaries, leading other local partners to deliver the right support for every client.
We specialise in supporting homeless and vulnerable people with very complex needs. Many of our clients have overlapping support needs such as mental ill health, experiences of trauma or substance dependency which require a highly personalised response.
We offer services for adults of all ages, and for young people and their families. Last year we helped over 8,000 people in Kent to improve their lives, through better housing, mental health support, work and learning or by connecting with others. Almost half of our work is about helping people to prevent any problems from reaching crisis point.
Porchlight also runs Kent’s only 24-hour helpline for homeless and vulnerable people and the professionals who support them. Our Kent-based team offers advice to get the right local support in place for every individual. Running this service gives us the insight to predict and adapt to the future needs of our communities, so no one is left to cope alone.
About Look Ahead
Supporting people is at the heart of everything we do at Look Ahead and with almost 50 years of history behind us we have evolved to become a trusted provider of specialist support and care services for people with complex and multiple needs, bridging the gap between social care, health and housing.
We want everyone to feel at home at Look Ahead and our focus is on the wellbeing and development of both our customers and staff.
Look Ahead has more than 100 accommodation units in north and west Kent, but our service is about so much more than putting a roof over somebody’s head.
We tailor support around each individual and offer psychological therapy to our customers, many of whom have experienced complex trauma or abuse. Our skilled, multi-disciplinary teams put customers at the heart of everything they do; developing positive relationships with each person; building on their strengths and providing a safe environment from where they can get back on their feet.
Today, Look Ahead is proud to be the trusted partner of over 30 local authorities and health trusts, providing our specialist services for a wide range of needs, including mental health, learning disabilities, homelessness and complex needs, and young people and care leavers.
What people say about us…Success stories
Staff at the hostel were brilliant and would go out of their way to help you
Ricki, Kent Homeless Connect Client
Staff are really supportive and you have the chance of counselling
Martin, Kent Homeless Connect Client
We found Katy safe accommodation and gave her the opportunity to take part in activities and workshops to improve her confidence.
Pam, Kent Homeless Connect Link Worker.
Tackling homelessness is about more than just providing a home. It’s also supporting people to make longer lasting changes in their lives.
Laura, Kent Homeless Connect Coach.
Information for professionals
No person’s story is the same, and to give someone the help they need can take a team of professionals all working together. One referral gives access to housing support, mental health services, drug and alcohol recovery, and more.