As the first point of contact for people who are homeless in Exeter, St Petrock’s is uniquely placed to gather information and provide wider insight into local issues. Working closely with our partners, we reguarly carry out research to help shape an effective response to homelessness in the city.

In 2016, St Petrock’s undertook a research project into the impact of new drugs being sold as ‘legal highs’ or New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) among the city’s homeless population. The study “NPS use among homeless population in Exeter” highlighted the powerful appeal of NPS amongst rough sleepers as a means of psychologically removing themselves from their environment and the subsequent development of a particular culture around NPS use amongst the homeless community.

A health audit carried out in the centre similarly highlighted the challenges clients dace in accessing healthcare and informed the development of services to fill the gaps in provision.