11:06 AM, 28th January 2020, About 4 years ago 2
The government plans to help more rough sleepers off the streets and into safe accommodation after an extra £112 million funding for councils has been announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.
The funding is a 30% increase this year and will be used by local authorities, charities and other organisations to fund up to 6,000 new bed spaces and 2,500 support staff across the country.
This will help vulnerable rough sleepers get the support they need to rebuild their lives. It could mean a roof over their head, access to specialist mental health or addiction services, or advice on how to secure a home in the long term.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said: “No-one should have to face a night on the street and we have a moral duty to support those who need help the most. It is encouraging to see more people getting the support they need, but there is always more to do.
“We are focusing relentlessly on this issue and our efforts have already led to the first nationwide fall in rough sleeping in a decade and the areas funded by our Rough Sleeping Initiative have seen rough sleeping numbers fall around a third more than they would be without this vital programme, but we need to go further. That is why we are providing this funding so vital work can continue as we set out to end rough sleeping once and for all.”
Homelessness Minister Luke Hall said: “There are people all over the country working tirelessly to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. Our Rough Sleeping Initiative is proving to be successful, and this funding will mean this vital work can be continued as we set out to end rough sleeping once and for all.”
The Rough Sleeping Initiative was launched in 2018 to ensure local areas were given the boost they needed to provide these vital services for those living on the streets.
This will give people access to a roof over their head when they need it most – as well as the help they need to recover from a life on the streets.
We have seen the first nationwide fall in rough sleeping in a decade – and this comes as the government is facing a significant challenge following a large increase in the number of non-UK rough sleepers coming to the UK.
For example in Westminster it’s estimated that 49% of those sleeping rough are non-UK nationals and work continues across government to support these individuals.
Government funding for rough sleeping has already helped thousands of people to improve their lives and get off the street. This is a coordinated effort across housing, addiction support, mental health services and policing.
We intend to continue to bring all parts of government together to end rough sleeping by the end of this parliament.
For example, Southwark Council is working in partnership with all NHS local agencies to help end rough sleeping in their area. The council has placed a housing navigator within the 3 local NHS hospitals to coordinate a joint health and housing response to ensure no patient is discharged to the streets.
The council, through Rough Sleeping Initiative funding, has also employed one nurse to work in partnership with the outreach team to ensure any person sleeping rough has access to health care. The rough sleeper will also automatically qualify for council housing following the referral from the nurse.
This partnership has ensured 41 people sleeping rough have been now been rehoused with support into suitable accommodation.
The funding will be used by councils to:
The funding follows the Prime Minister’s drive to tackle homelessness and the announcement of over £260 million for local authorities. This will help people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes improve their lives and get back on their feet.
Further case studies
In Ipswich, there is a rough sleeper working group, each Tuesday morning with all relevant partners and agencies around the table.
The working group is successful due to its client focused approach and action planning. The working group acts as a weekly multi agency meeting on the back of outreach intelligence, street link alerts and ongoing relief and prevention work.
Having the working group set up and well-coordinated enables us to support our most entrenched rough sleepers with accessing housing, mental health support, addressing their substance misuse and health needs, because all agencies are an integral part of the Rough Sleeper Initiative which enables the project to provide a wrap around service to each client that meets their individual needs.
Nottingham City Council leads a local partnership that has drawn on Rough Sleeper Initiative funding to add to a much needed range of interventions to help people who have sleep rough in Nottingham.
These services work together as a pathway providing outreach, emergency accommodation and resettlement support to help people to regain shelter and rebuild their lives away from the streets.
This year, our partnership plans to build on existing initiatives (including our complex needs hostel, Safe Space to Stay hub, housing led accommodation, navigators and other developments) to provide more opportunities for people to engage with services and find a route back to a settled home.
With funding from the Rough Sleeper Initiative, Rugby Borough Council has funded a specialist outreach officer to engage with partner agencies and third sector providers to support rough sleepers in moving from the street into accommodation.
This project is known as the Rugby Housing Pathway. The Pathway allows the long term homeless to access support to address the underlying causes of their homelessness while having somewhere to live, with the aim of them not returning to rough sleeping.
Since April 2019, 18 rough sleepers have moved into accommodation, and two of these people are now in employment.