Homeless - gang members
If you have left a gang or want to leave a gang and as a result you have left your accommodation or can no longer remain in your accommodation out of fear for your safety, the council may be able to support you.
If you don’t have access to a computer, you may visit our Customer Services centre at the Brent Civic Centre or your local library to use a computer. You may also refer to your family/friends or other support networks to help if need assistance completing your online application.
Will the Council provide me with accommodation?
We can provide advice and support to you to help you find alternative accommodation. However we will not have a duty to provide emergency accommodation or temporarily house you unless you are considered to be eligible, homeless and have priority need.
If you are a single person with support needs, the Single Housing Pathway can discuss with you a referral for floating support or supported housing.For more information on the homelessness criteria please visit the Shelter website (contact details under ‘homelessness support’) where there is specific advice for ex-prisoners.
A housing officer can also make a referral to the Brent Council Community Safety Team. The Community Safety team can then refer you to two organisations- St Giles Trust and/or Air Network.
- St Giles Trust - aims to help break the cycle of prison, crime and disadvantage and create safer communities by supporting people to change their lives. Their SOS project offers intensive help to young people exposed to or at risk of violence, vulnerability and exploitation. Visit the St Giles Trust website.
- Air Network - Provides support and a wide range of experiences and activities that build resilience and can enable you to move away from negative lifestyles/behaviours and to build positive relationships, self-esteem, self-confidence, resilience, communication and develop a positive can do attitude. Visit the Air Network.
Other support available
- London Gang Exit - is a service that means, for the first time, anyone aged 16-24 who is gang-involved or gang-affiliated can get support to exit, no matter which borough of London they live in. The service is unique as it recognises the complexities of gang involvement and the blurring of lines between offender and victim. It is tailored to the specific needs of young people. This includes mental health support, employment support, and specialised support for young women, for example counselling following sexual exploitation. Young people are allocated a trained caseworker to provide intensive support, advocate on their behalf and build an effective and consistent relationship with them over an extended period of time. London Gang Exit may also be able to support individuals to move to a different London borough if they are at risk in their borough and have an existing social tenancy. To be referred to the service you will need to be referred by an agency, or by the council.
- PLIAS Resettlement - PLIAS Resettlement is a not for profit organisation providing numerous services, primarily targeting offenders and ex-offenders, in order to support their reintegration back into society. It includes employment support and guidance, education and training, youth engagement and advocacy. Services are free for Brent residents and self-referrals can be done by completing an online registration form. Visit the PLIAS website.
- The Princes Trust - The Prince's Trust works with disadvantaged young people aged 11 - 30. They provide training, personal development opportunities and grants to help young people to get into work, education, self-employment or training. Visit the Princes Trust website.
- Just For Kids Law - Just for Kids Law offers support, advice and legal representation for young people in difficulty, involved in or at risk of being involved in gangs. Their frontline staff and in-house lawyers work directly with young people to help them navigate their way through challenging times: whether they are facing difficulties at school, mental health, immigration or criminal justice issues, are being denied benefits, or are homeless. An advocate supports a young person to make sure their views and wishes are heard and respected. The advocates offer tailored, one-to-one support every step of the way. This often includes working collaboratively with lawyers to provide young people with a wide range of legal expertise and assistance. Visit the Just For Kids website.
- Fearless is a website where young people can find non-judgmental information and advice about crime and criminality. There is an A-Z defining different criminal activities. It gives people the opportunity to report a crime or pass on information that could help police with their investigations completely anonymously. www.fearless.org/en
- Drop the Weapons is an online resource from the Metropolitan Police that aims to teach people about the dangers of carrying a weapon and encourage people to turn away from violent crime. It carries facts, videos and diaries about knife and gun crime to show people that picking up a gun or a knife always makes a situation worse, never better www.met.police.uk/droptheweapons/
- NSPCC helpline - call 080 8800 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org- professional counsellors can offer help, advice and support.
- ChildLine - call 24-hour helpline 0800 1111 - if you want to get out of a gang or need to talk to someone. All calls are free and confidential.