Local MP, Mike Hill, visits North Star Housing Group’s supported housing to see how it dramatically changes lives.

North Star is a North East based Housing Association and their purpose is to provide affordable housing, invest in communities and develop new homes. The local housing association, along with Harbour Support Services, welcomed Mike Hill to one of their established supported housing schemes in Hartlepool.

Six local authorities recently submitted a bid for funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to deliver a Navigator programme across the Tees Valley. From this, North Star and Harbour were successful in their joint bid to deliver safe emergency accommodation to women with complex needs fleeing domestic abuse.

Hartlepool based Harbour works with families and individuals affected by abuse and have been working with North Star for over 40 years. The two organisations have a successful track record of providing quality accommodation for women affected by domestic abuse and are ideally placed to deliver this new emergency accommodation service.

Statistics show that domestic abuse affects a quarter of all women at some time in their lives, regardless of age, social class, race, disability, sexual orientation or lifestyle. More than one in four women nationally (4.8 million) aged between 16 and 59 have been affected by domestic abuse (DH, 2011). This demonstrates just how vital the provision of safe emergency accommodation is.

The accommodation will provide a safe place for women with complex needs to stay, with all the support they need to help get their lives back on track.

Hartlepool MP, Mike Hill, said: “It’s a real shame that we need domestic violence refuges, but I have seen first hand just how important the work carried out by Harbour in Hartlepool is for victims and their families. They offer a real lifeline and provide a vital service.”

Angela Lockwood, Chief Executive at North Star, said: “Supported Housing schemes like this are a lifeline and vital to providing independence, security and dignity for millions of people across the country. It’s crucial we continue to deliver such critical services and we are very pleased to be working with Harbour on another scheme.”

Danielle Chadwick, Service Manager at Harbour, said: “We’re delighted to work with North Star again, providing support and safe accommodation to so many more people across the region. We want people to know they don’t have to go through these experiences alone and that there is help available.

“Along with providing a secure place to live, we also provide a range of practical support with things like securing safe, permanent housing, accessing legal and financial advice, accessing healthcare, rebuilding their confidence and help with rebuilding interests and social networks.”

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