Step Together FAQs
Frequently asked questions about our service
Step Together is the name for a support and housing service for adults in Somerset who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and also have a mix of mental health needs, drug and alcohol problems, behavioural issues, debt or have been involved in the criminal justice system.
Our clients have complex needs and often find it extremely hard to sustain positive change in their lives. We believe we have a responsibility to make sure our service, and the system as a whole, does all it can to reverse this experience.
Our service is primarily about helping people to live fulfilling lives in their own communities, retain their tenancy and reduce repeated homelessness.
We support people to build their strength and reach their own goals, such as:
- maintaining a home;
- improving health and wellbeing;
- accessing treatment;
- reducing re-offending; and,
- becoming part of their communities though activities, training, volunteering or employment
The service run by Second Step and ARA is funded by Somerset County Council.
Second Step is a leading mental health charity that’s been putting mental health first for individuals and communities in the south west for over 30 years. Our work is underpinned by the belief that with the right support everyone can take control of their life and make their future their own. Second Step works with over 4,500 clients in a range of supported housing, homelessness, mental health and NHS services.
ARA has been operating in the south west and Wales for 30 years and passionately believes people change and recover. Last year, ARA worked with nearly 5000 people in our housing service, mental health service, problem gambling service and outreach addiction services.
We work with landlords and letting agents to find suitable permanent homes for our clients and offer support to help manage and maintain their tenancies.
We do not provide accommodation ourselves, but help people with complex needs to live independently in their own homes without having to move on when they no longer need as much support.
Our support workers are called recovery coaches. This is because they are focused on supporting our clients to reach their goals.
We’d really like to hear from you. If have ideas about how we could work together, please get in touch via email@example.com
If you feel that you’re in immediate danger of seriously harming yourself or someone else, call 999 and ask for help or go to your nearest Accident & Emergency (A&E) department.
If you are at risk of homelessness or are rough sleeping, your local district council can advise you. To find out which council covers your area, visit https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council
There is one central Council contact which you can find here: Somerset Council
- They have received an eviction notice or final warning from their landlord.
- They are living in accommodation where they are not legally entitled to live, or which is unsafe, or with no legal tenancy agreement of their own.
- They are not on the tenancy agreement with their partner and the relationship is going to breakdown.
- They have amassed rent arrears, which they are not addressing.
- They are abandoning their property and/or landlord is seeking repossession.
- Section 21 -no fault eviction (the landlord is selling or just wants them to vacate the property).
- Family breakdown and parents are asking adult offspring to leave.
There are lots of different signs – but the above give an idea of what we class as risk of homelessness.
- By contacting our email address firstname.lastname@example.org and requesting a referral form. You will then be sent a blank referral form, which you return to the ‘referrals’ email address. This ensures that all referrals are collected in one place and enables our auto-reply to confirm that we have received your referral.
- You can call our office on 0333 023 5404 and ask for a form – which will then be emailed to you as above.
- Respectfully – we ask that you don’t send referral forms to individual addresses as it plays havoc with our admin process.
- You can call our office and ask to speak to someone to discuss a referral you would like to make before committing the time and energy to completing the form. We’re more than happy to discuss cases with people.
- You’re more than welcome to call our main office number on 0333 023 5404 and speak to us. If we can assist you on that call we will. If we can’t, your name and number will be taken and passed on to someone who can respond to your questions.
- In all instances we will do our level best to help and if we can’t, we’ll point you in the direction of people we think will be able to support you.
- We can accept referrals from people other than professionals, but please note that we do not have access to housing, we do not have our own housing that we can offer and we do not have shortcuts to any housing options. Anything we do to support people with their housing needs is done through the formal channels.
- Please note that we are not a crisis service and so won’t be able to send staff immediately to respond to something.
- If you want a welfare check on a neighbour, it’s best to call 101 and speak to the police.
- If you are concerned about someone who is sleeping rough in your area, contact Somerset County Council – each council has a Rough Sleepers Initiative team with outreach workers whose job it is to respond to these kinds of calls. Once a check has been done, and if the Outreach team feels our service can help - they will make a referral into us. You can also contact StreetLink, although this service only works with adults.
- If you think that someone is at risk of neglect, harm or abuse in their own home, call Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224 and speak to a duty social worker who will be able to take details and respond accordingly.
- You’re more than welcome to call us on 0333 023 5404 and we can take details and pass them on to the relevant people or agencies.
- We can also direct you to the appropriate agencies so that you can contact them yourselves.