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Published 14 September 2018

Staff at a homeless project have been praised for helping residents recover from drug and alcohol addictions and get back on their feet.

Officers from the Care Inspectorate carried out an unannounced inspection at the block in Ashton View, Dumbarton last month.

They rated the service as ‘Very Good’  in both quality of care and support and quality of staffing.

They singled out the specialist group work programme, which works in partnership with outside agencies to provide practical workshops to help residents improve their skills.

During the inspection they also noted evidence of people reducing their alcohol and drug usage, increasing independence and moving on to their own tenancies.

The initiative has helped turn hundreds of lives around by assisting people who find themselves homeless.

Councillor Diane Docherty, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “The Ashton View project is a vital service to provide support to residents when they are going through some of their toughest times.

“What is great about the project is that it teaches these vulnerable people how to make improvements so they can go on to be independent again.

“Inspectors arrived unannounced and saw for themselves the excellent service the unit provides. The results are testament to how well the unit is run, and how dedicated our staff are.”

Councillor Caroline McAllister, Vice Convener of Housing and Communities, added: “The Ashton View homeless project has been a lifeline for so many who have needed assistance to get back on their feet.

“The staff who work so hard to ensure these residents have another chance should be proud of this inspection report and what they have achieved so far.”

As part of the inspection, officers spoke to people who were being supported by the service.

The report said: “One person told us that the service was flexible, listened to them, and gave them the skills and opportunity to get permanent accommodation. This gave people a sense of achievement and independence.”

In regards to the staff at the project, the report said: Some workers were described as pro-active, caring and respectful. The service's positive values, and respectful staff approach, developed people's confidence.”

When a resident has been accepted into Ashton View, they follow a 12-week programme with a key worker. They agree on a care plan tailored to individual needs and hold regular reviews to ensure they are on the right track.

At the end of their stay in Ashton View, they move onto a suitable housing solution with support from their key worker for another six months to ensure they are coping well.