The Drugs & Homeless Initiative was set up in 1996 by Bath Self Help Housing Association (BSHHA) as a response to problems encountered in social housing by many of its existing tenants and to address the complex relationship between homelessness and drug use. This led to the establishment of the first of DHI’s supported ‘dry’ housing projects for those wishing to address substance misuse who would otherwise be homeless, and a resettlement service for those in need of support to secure and maintain a home, as a first step toward being able to address drug or alcohol use.
Having begun as sole employee for DHI, a fledgling Bath Self Help Housing Association project, Rosie Phillips sets up DHI as an independent charitable company to bridge the gap between drug treatment and housing.
DHI receives a Department of Health Social Care Award for ‘Promoting Independence’ and the Allotment Project wins a Co-operative Group Partnership Award. Services for drug-related offenders are introduced and ‘Drugs Tsar’ Keith Hellawell visits DHI to celebrate its achievements.
New housing support services for those with drug and alcohol problems established in Bath and surrounding rural areas.
DHI branches out to offer housing support services in Wiltshire and opens a new Training Suite in Bath, offering IT and basic skills courses in partnership with other local service providers.
New Prison Resettlement Service starts in Wiltshire.
Barton Buildings, a joint DHI/Somer supported ‘dry house’ for ex offenders, opens in Bath. Acorn House opens for ex-offenders living in Wiltshire, and an alcohol counselling service opens for people living in B&NES. The charity publishes the first copy of ‘Off The Wall’ magazine (produced and run by service users); musician Midge Ure becomes a patron of the publication.
DHI becomes the leading provider of drug and alcohol treatment services (including services for families and carers of drug users) in South Gloucestershire. Champney’s House, a supported housing project, opens in Frome. Findings from DHI’s first major research project are presented at the International Reduction of Drug Related Harm Conference in Belfast.
DHI CEO Rosie Phillips receives a ‘Women Who Make a Difference’ award from B&NES Council. A Mobile Needle Exchange service is set up in South Gloucestershire, and the Community 4 Consortium is formed in partnership with Westlea Housing Association, Splitz and Alabare in Wiltshire to provide a generic supported housing service across the county.
DHI presents research at the International Harm Reduction Association Conference, Unhooked Thinking and the National Conference on Injecting Drug Use. A new programme of support for victims of domestic violence is set up in B&NES, and an Open Access Treatment Service is established in Swindon. DHI, Clean Slate and the Bath Abbey Initiative win the RSA Coffee House Challenge Award for ‘Mailcoach’, a scheme providing a secure PO Box facility for the homeless. Film director Ken Loach becomes DHI’s Patron.
The first annual ‘Reach Out Families and Carers Conference’ is held in Bristol. DHI sets up Floating Support services in Swindon and South Gloucestershire and Access schemes in South Gloucestershire and B&NES to support vulnerable people to access the private rented sector. The ‘Ugly Mugs’ Scheme to support sex workers is established Swindon, and DHI wins the Silver Award from Bath in Bloom for it’s allotment.
DHI win the Red Cross Excellence award for innovative work of the Harm Reduction team. A new ‘social prescribing’ service is set up in partnership with The Orchard Medical Centre in South Gloucestershire, alongside a new Brokerage and Information service. DHI service users win a Gold Award for the allotment. DHI celebrates its tenth anniversary.
DHI opens The Information Takeaway in Bath, a multi-agency hub to ensure that people have access to the information, advice and support they require when they need it most. With the advent of these new services, and after much debate, it is decided that the time has come to rename the charity. Over time, as DHI’s remit expanded to work with a wider range of vulnerable and excluded groups, including those with physical and learning disabilities, mental ill health and the vulnerable elderly, a name change was felt necessary to reflect the new range of commitments. DHI becomes the Developing Health & Independence.
DHI sets up Families Floating Support services in Somerset. In B&NES DHI begins delivering Tier 2 drug treatment services, and leads a new partnership with Stonham and Curo. The Reach Partnership begins delivering comprehensive housing support to all socially excluded adults. Our new treatment centre opens in central Bath and Burlington Street, a new Bath based dry house with a dedicated detoxification facility, opens. The Freedom Programme is delivered in Eastwood Park Prison, offering support to women abused by a male partner. DHI opens a Midsomer Norton Recovery Hub and launches The HandyHelp Company, a DHI partnership with Curo and Clean Slate, offering employment and training opportunities to those facing significant barriers to work. Full Matrix accreditation is achieved.
Project28, a drug and alcohol service for young people aged 11-18 joins the DHI family. Home Turf Lettings, a not for profit social enterprise residential lettings company, is formed. DHI is announced as one of the first Assured Partners by Avon and Somerset Probation Trust. A Jobcentre Plus affiliated work club is established for drug treatment clients in our Bath treatment centre at the Beehive. Home Turf Lettings launches its Empty Homes Scheme to refurbish empty properties.
DHI begins work with Bath University to form ReSTARt a mentoring programme for clients and wins contracts for 2 Troubled Families programmes in Mendip and Sedgemore. In Bristol DHI sets up an exciting programme for peers and families and carers of substance misusers, working closely with the local communities and other drug treatment providers.
Commissioned to deliver Self Directed Support and Direct Payment Service in Swindon.