Cheltenham plans to trial self-contained accomodation pods for the homeless

Plans to install self-contained pods for homeless people in Cheltenham have been submitted to the council, with the initiative aiming to provide short-term accommodation for people who aren't able to use hostels.

By Zoe Gater  |  Published
The Chelpod scheme gives homeless people access to a private space, fully equipped with a bed, chemical toilet and a USB charging point. Image © CCP.

Plans to install Cheltenham's first self-contained homeless pods have been submitted to the council as part of a pilot scheme that aims to help get people off the streets. 

The temporary accomodation pods provide safety and shelter for homeless people, with the first planned for 340 High Street — the side courtyard of Caring for Communities and People (CCP)'s offices — to be trialled as part of a replicable, scalable plan.

Located in a discreet and accessible site, the 'Chelpod' is fully equipped with a bed, chemical toilet and a USB charging point, providing safety, privacy and dignity for users, as well as access to support services such as mental health, employment and education and, crucially, an address, which can allow homeless people to open a bank account and apply for benefits. 

The pilot process follows five steps: finding a location and a sponsor for the pod; siting and installing the pod; referring a rough sleeper to a crash pad; providing a support and recovery roadmap to help them reintegrate into society, with personalised support and progress monitoring; and finally, transitioning them to more permanent housing. 

If successful, future Chelpods could be sited in existing community facilities such as community centres and churches, where existing groups are already providing support to their local community.

Each single pod costs £10,000, while a double costs £19,500 — and CCP wants to raise a further £5,000 to help deliver the initial support required by the individual referred to the pod. 

For more information, to donate, or pledge a Chelpod site, visit CCP's website. 


More on CCP

More from Health & Wellbeing