Helping rough sleepers into more permanent accommodation
Published: 30 June 2023
Rough sleepers in Exeter are being helped off the street and into ingenious new housing pods.
The four pods, situated in Howell Road Car Park, offer a short term accommodation solution.
The pods are used as a ‘stepping stone’ from sleeping on the streets into more permanent accommodation.
This is not the first time the pods have been used in the city. In 2022 they helped 15 people off the streets and into more permanent accommodation at a different site, with the average stay being approximately one month.
The pods offer verified rough sleepers a chance to lay their heads away from the frenetic lifestyle of living on the streets. The pods offer basic accommodation with a bed, toilet and a USB charging port. Entry is keyless, which together with the lights is solar powered.
Cllr Martin Pearce, Lead Councillor for Communities and Homelessness Prevention said that individuals were referred to the pods by the Rough Sleeping Prevention Team managed by Julian House.
"They are being used by individuals with no alternative accommodation option available at the time, but ideally with a pathway opening up . We would also consider clients who may be at risk of losing their placement within our services, perhaps where some time out may be helpful in the short term.
"The flexibility of a pod can also mean that in an emergency we can offer a safe place for a situation that our out-of-hours provision could use as an alternative option."
The Pods are not homes but are intended to act as a short term 'crash pad' measure and a stepping stone from the streets into accommodation.
Planning permission for the previous sites was approved back in 2022 and now the City Council is applying for retrospective planning permission for the Howell Road site which is currently in operation.