This independent of the Rhea Project, a pilot partnership between Solace, Commonweal and Southwark Council, shows that a successful support model for survivors, strengthens referral pathways, enables a smooth transition from abuse to safety and includes the provision of safe, suitable and secure housing.
Through the Rhea Project, survivors are identified and referred via Southwark Housing Department. Assessments are conducted by a Solace staff member who is embedded within the Southwark Housing Team. Following acceptance into one of eight properties, which Commonweal provides at a subsidised rent, the Rhea key worker provides holistic 1-1 key work support to survivors, for up to 12 months. This can include practical advice around such issues as children gaining places in new schools; helping with benefits forms, as well as emotional support.
The impact is powerful: interviews for the evaluation found the project has improved outcomes for survivors’ wellbeing, empowerment, confidence, and capacity for self-advocacy. Wonderfully, it has also increased their ability to ‘hope and dream’ for the future.