Hemel charity to provide housing and support for ex-offenders

A Hemel Hempstead charity Druglink has launched a new service to provide housing and support for ex-offenders.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 6:24 pm

Oxygen Gateway aims to help male offenders find independent living arrangements following release from custody.

The 24-month pilot project has been funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire's Criminal Justice Innovation Fund.

Gateway provides 11 beds of accommodation and offers personalised, client-centred support for residents for up to one year.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd

Wendy Nee, director of care and support at Druglink: “We recognise the importance of stable accommodation in an individual’s reintegration into society and recovery from issues such as substance misuse and offending.

“Gateway has shown the biggest turnaround in client behaviour across all of Druglink’s services. Residents are keen to change their lives and give back to the local community.

"We are extremely grateful to David Lloyd, the Police and Crime Commissioner, for help starting the service, and we look forward to working with our partner agencies to increase the number of successful outcomes for our clients.”

Druglink have been providing life-saving treatment for people with substance misuse issues, mental health problems and other struggles for over 35 years.

Oxygen Gateway team

They offer a unique two-year recovery housing pathway for clients, enabling them to live safely, so they can concentrate on rebuilding their lives.

David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, said: "Schemes like this are about leadership and one of my main priorities is reducing crime. Ex-offenders who leave prison with nowhere to live are a third more likely to commit more crime.”

“This service plays a vital step in bringing people back into the community. With the right support they will become productive and useful members of the public.”