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What to do if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness in Colchester.

As from the 3rd April 2018, unless you are homeless on the day we will no longer be providing a drop in service. All appointments will be planned by you by pre-booking an appointment using the Enhanced Housing Options Wizard (EHO), see more below.

You can complete a 10 minute online assessment (Enhanced Housing Options Wizard) which will provide advice and guidance tailored to your current situation. It will give you the next steps that you should take to address your current situation and if you are homeless or threatened with homeless in 56 days and are unable to help yourself you will be able to self-book an appointment with a Housing Solutions Officer at a date and time to suit your needs.

EHO

If you do not have access to a smart phone/computer and/or the internet you can use equipment based in the Council Express Zone on the ground floor of Colchester Library. The Council Express Zone is open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm..

In the Colchester area we have asked all of our partners to automatically refer their customers to us if they meet the criteria and assist them where needed to complete the EHO.

If you are unable to complete the online assessment and are already engaged with services you may be able to complete this with the assistance of your support worker. Some public bodies will also have a duty to notify the Council if they are aware that you are threatened with homelessness within 56 days or are currently homeless. 

If you have not got a support worker, you can telephone our customer service centre on 01206 282569 to find out where you can find support to enable you to complete this form and any enquires about accessing the housing solutions service.

You can Email the Housing Solutions Team at housing.options@colchester.gov.uk.

What do you need to do?

You need to complete the Enhanced Housing Options Wizard which will provide you with tailored next steps that you need to take to enable you to resolve your housing situation. If you are unable to prevent your own homelessness you will be able to access an appointment with the Housing Solutions team via this online service.

EHO

If you book an appointment to see the Housing Solutions team it will help us to advise you quickly if you bring along as much evidence as possible - for example, a tenancy agreement, letter or notice from your landlord or mortgage lender and so on.

You will need to bring in Photographic ID, either your Passport OR your Driving Licence alongside a copy of your Full Birth Certificate. You will need to bring in any documents regarding your immigration status  if you are not a UK National. We will be unable to confirm your identity or your Eligibility without these documents. If you do not have photographic ID please bring your full birth certificate and a recent utility bill or benefit letter. A replacement birth certificate can be ordered online at https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate for £9.25.

If you've come from another country, please bring your passport and/or letter from the Home Office or any other information about living/working in the UK.

Finding a way forward

It's not always easy to provide evidence, so whatever your situation you can use the Enhanced Housing Options Wizard to get tailored guidance on what to do and how to do it. You can contact us, book an appointment and talk things through. We'll be respectful and understanding and will give you accurate housing advice to enable you to be able to consider what the realistic options are.

Emergencies

If you have to leave home due to fire, flood or other emergency, dial 999 if you are in danger, or telephone Colchester Police on 0300 333 4444.

If you are homeless because of an emergency (e.g. fire or flood) and currently residing in a Council or housing association property and you have nowhere to stay, you should contact your housing officer or association as soon as possible. They will have suitable insurance which should cover emergency accommodation. A private landlord may also be able to assist in this type of situation.

However, if you need further support in this matter please contact us on 01206 282569 to find out where you can find support to enable you to complete the Enhanced Housing Options Wizard and any enquires about this service.

If you're experiencing violence and/or abuse at home you can call Colchester Police on 0300 333 4444. If you are at risk now you can also call 999 in case of an emergency.

Colchester and Tendring Women's Refuge provide a 24 hour helpline on 01206 500585. The Women's Refuge Link  allows you to 'hide your visit'.

The Men's Advice Line provides help for men in abusive relationships. Their number is 0808 801 0327 or visit the Men's Advice Line website here

If you are homeless tonight please visit us at Colchester Library's Council Express Zone (ground floor), between Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. You will need to come in as early as possible in the day bringing evidence of your eligibility (photographic ID or birth certificate) and homelessness with you. If you do not have this information with you we may not be able to assist you on that day. You may also wish to call us in the morning on 01206 282569 to give us notice that you are coming in and to request information on what to bring with you.

EHO

Homeless Support Services:

There are services in Colchester that can support you through this difficult time, below are a selection, to see the full document 

Beacon House, Provides primary healthcare and holistic support for those who are homeless, in temporary or insecure accommodation, or who are at risk of homelessness. The services include: nurse-led clinics, showers, clothing, toiletries, food parcels, a laundry service, refreshments, cooked meals, a computer suite, life skills and activities.

Mon-Fri 10am-2pm

90-91 East Hill, CO1 2QN

01206 761 960

www.beaconhouseministeries.org.uk

Colchester Night Shelter, Direct access emergency accommodation. Overnight to a maximum of 28 days. Open daily 7.15pm-9am. Last admission 9pm.Sunday opening 12.30pm-9am. 39-41 Alexandra Road, CO3 3DF

Please call in advance on 01206 549 885

enquiries@colchesternightshelter.org.uk

www.colchesternightshelter.org.uk

Open Door,Drop-in centre which offers a listening service, friendship, advice, counselling and referrals on issues like housing, benefits, employment. All are welcome.

Mon, Wed & Fri 10.30am-12.30pm

Colchester Baptist Church, Eld Lane, CO1 1LS

01206 769 436

www.opendoorcolchester.co.uk