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Sanctuary Scheme

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What is it?

The Sanctuary Scheme aims to prevent victims of domestic violence becoming homeless by providing security in their home. It is a victim-centred initiative, with the aim of making it possible for victims to remain in their own homes and feel safe.

Why do we offer this?

Domestic abuse is one of the primary reasons why people in Middlesbrough become homeless. The scheme offers a preventative approach which, through early intervention and safety planning, can enable someone to remain at home.

Who is eligible?

The scheme is available to residents of Middlesbrough who are victims of domestic abuse and threatened with violence, and, without the support of the scheme and additional security measures, would likely become homeless.

Applicants can be local authority, private or Registered Social Landlord tenants, or homeowners. However, legal occupation of the property must be solely in the applicant’s name and the scheme must obtain consent from the landlord.

Who is involved?

The scheme is run as a partnership with the Sanctuary Scheme Co-ordinator based at My Sisters Place, working closely with Crime Prevention Team at Cleveland Police, Cleveland Fire Brigade, and Belle Property Group. The scheme is funded by Middlesbrough Council.

What is the process?

If a referring agency is satisfied that without the work, the victim would be at risk of harm and likely to become homeless, a Sanctuary Referral Form is completed and submitted to admin.msp@msp.cjsm.net. For those without access to CJSM, email referrals to Reception@mysistersplace.co.uk.

  • The Sanctuary Scheme Co-ordinator contacts the client to discuss the client’s intentions of moving or remaining longer term at the property, and completes an initial assessment. A safety plan and ongoing support options are discussed. All clients are offered IDVA support if this is not already in place.
  • The Crime Prevention Team visit the property and submit their safety recommendations.
  • The landlord is contacted to obtain written consent to proceed with the work.
  • Belle Property are instructed to complete the work. The work is carried out by qualified trades at no cost to the client.
  • Cleveland Fire Brigade are notified of the works and a fire safety visit is completed.
  • A Sanctuary worker contacts the client to check the work has been completed satisfactorily and reviews the support plan.
  • Follow up reviews take place after one, three, and six months.

Key contacts

Report any violence or threats of violence to the police on 999.

If there is a risk of arson, email Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Fire Control at advocates@clevelandfire.gov.uk with details of the client and property. They will attend the same day to fit an anti-arson letterbox. For more information, call Cleveland Fire Brigade on 01642 811650.

If the perpetrator has a key for the property, contact the landlord immediately to arrange a change of locks.

Sanctuary Scheme Co-ordinator: Angela Bell - 01642 241864

Crime Prevention Team - 01642 303171

The Sanctuary Scheme is not an immediate response service. The Sanctuary Co-ordinator’s working days are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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