Thirteen has launched a new service in Sunderland that is providing homeless people with a safe place to stay and on-site support to find a permanent home.

Sunderland Move On, which was opened with funding from Homes England, offers 14 modern, semi-furnished, one-bedroom flats, with up to six months of wrap-around support for people that are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.

As well as accommodation, the service includes support with budgeting, maximising benefits, tenancy management and developing skills to live independently. The service also provides access to training and education, as well as support with mental wellbeing management.

Thirteen is working closely with Sunderland City Council to refer people to the service; five of the flats are currently occupied, with finishing touches being finalised to prepare the remaining nine.

Thirteen also delivers a successful homelessness prevention scheme for young people in the Tees Valley, known as Key Step, which works to improve the lives of people aged 18-34 who are at risk of homelessness, either through finding a home or a job, or building resilience and independence.

Karen Kenmare, Senior Housing Related Support Manager for Thirteen, said: “It’s so important that people who become homeless, or are at risk of homelessness, can get access to the support they need.

“Introducing our Sunderland Move On service is a really positive step for us in expanding the vital support we offer to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“The successful launch is a credit to the team, who have all worked really hard to put the tools and support in place so that residents can make positive changes to their lives and reach their full potential.”