Supporting rough sleepers in Sudbury this coming winter
In this post, we update you on some work we have been doing to support rough sleepers in Sudbury. Brent Council has recently expanded its service to rough sleepers, and the Housing Scrutiny Committee will be looking into this service – as well as the Council’s broader support system for homeless people – at some point later this year.
In the past fortnight we’ve picked up a number of cases about rough sleepers in Sudbury, most especially in the parks, so I thought I would post about some work we are doing to identify and support these rough sleepers.
In response to the enquiries we have received, we have raised all these cases with the Council, who have in turn flagged them up with St Mungo’s – their partner in delivering services to rough sleepers. Some of these rough sleepers have since been identified and given support by St Mungo’s. Others are still yet to be identified, but the outreach teams will be factoring this intelligence into their regular patrols in the area.
If you see any rough sleepers in the area, please contact us so we can ask the Council to identify and support them – giving as much detail as possible on their locations and the time you found them. In addition, if you have a smart phone you may also wish to download the ‘StreetLink’ app – any cases reported through this app are automatically referred to the Council’s outreach services.
Since the passage of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, Councils including Brent have been given new legal duties to do more to support rough sleepers and indeed any homeless people who the Council does not have a legal duty to provide temporary accommodation to. In Brent, this has led to the Council extending the services it offers to these vulnerable people.
In addition, on 11th June 2018, the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government recently granted Brent Council nearly £350,000 to combat rough sleeping. In response to an enquiry I raised with them, the Council has told me that this money will be used to:
- ‘Set up a Housing first service to work with several entrenched complex rough sleepers housed within social lets in Brent. Clients will be identified through the existing outreach team and approved by us. Outreach workers with existing relationship will continue to provide support for up to 6 weeks after move in
- ‘Set up a 24 hour Rapid assessment Hub- 1-2 week stay for clients to undergo intensive support around reconnection and assessment. Utilise dormitory style accommodation for up to 8 rough sleepers including No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) within an existing housing stock owned by partner agency. Staging post- 6 rooms within the identified stock to allow people a longer stay while they await supported accommodation/housing first/reconnection.
- ‘Fund a Mental Health social worker to work alongside the outreach teams to carry out initial assessment and refer to other services. Prevision to work alongside outreach and supported housing pathway to ensure throughput and offer links to specialist services for clients who have become ‘stuck’ within hostels- this will free up voids for rough sleepers to access’
I am a member of the Housing Scrutiny Committee, and the Committee will be looking into the Council’s support for rough sleepers and single homeless people at some point next year. If you have any suggestions for issues you would like me to raise, please get in touch.
Cllr Thomas Stephens