Draft Rough Sleeping Strategy 2016 consultation

Release date: 
Tuesday, 23 February 2016

You can contact StreetLink if you're concerned about someone sleeping rough. They will help the person access local services and support.

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A priority for Brighton & Hove City Council is to make sure no-one has the need to sleep rough in the city by 2020. The council has been working on a Draft Rough Sleeping Strategy 2016 detailing how this can be achieved.

A consultation is underway to find out the views and experiences of local people, service providers and service users.

The full details can be found here at Item 54 Housing and New Homes Committee 

Councillor Clare Moonan, Lead Member for Rough Sleeping says:
 
“The issue of people sleeping rough has become more acute with a visibly increased presence on the streets. Most importantly, this has a negative impact on the individual’s life chances. The street is a very vulnerable place to be. Rough sleeping also affects the city’s reputation and adds costs to public services and business.
 
“Homelessness and rough sleeping could happen to many of us with little warning, from the loss of a job or a relationship breakdown for example. These difficult times can be compounded if people have other needs such as mental health, addiction and other vulnerabilities.
 
“The city’s current approach to rough sleeping is being re-assessed in partnership with all groups and organisation providing services, the wider community and with commissioners. We have used the thoughts and ideas of many partners shared at our Rough Sleeping Summit in December and earlier consultation. We have also looked at research carried out with those who are sleeping rough, or have previously slept rough, to develop this draft strategic plan. We need to make sure we combine our efforts with a joint sense or energy and purpose to focus on supporting people to move forward with their lives, regain their health and find secure housing.
 
“I hope that all the partners across the city working with people sleeping rough will endorse the final Rough Sleeping Strategy which is expected in the summer. I very much welcome your thoughts on this draft. Please help us make sure we have identified the correct priorities and actions to deliver our vision: To make sure no-one has the need to sleep rough in Brighton & Hove by 2020.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
To comment on this draft strategy, please visit the Council’s Consultation Portal. You can also write to us as Housing Strategy Team, Brighton & Hove City Council, 4th Floor Bartholomew House, Bartholomew Square, Brighton BN1 1JE or housing.strategy@brighton-hove.gov.uk.
 
Comments on this initial stage are welcome between 16 March and 17 April 2016.
 
Rough Sleeping in Brighton & Hove
 
People sleeping rough are a transient population. In 2014/15 services worked with 1,129 people involving 775 different people (around a third of cases relate to people seen more than once). In November 2015 a snapshot of a single night estimated there were 78 people sleeping rough in Brighton & Hove.
 
Rough sleeping is often driven out of desperation, poverty and ill health. The average age of death for a homeless person nationally is estimated to be 47 years old compared to 77 for the general population.
 
What will the new council strategy achieve?
 
The strategy is allowing an opportunity to refocus and reprioritise services within the available funding to better meet the needs of those at risk.
 
Actions proposed in the draft strategy include:

  • A new shared agreement, a Multi-Agency Protocol, between the council, service providers and other groups supporting people sleeping rough. The Protocol aims to co-ordinate promotion of the same consistent message and a single offer of support focussed on helping people move away from rough sleeping and street life.

  • A new permanent Assessment Centre with a number of temporary (sit-up) beds to enable service providers to assess the needs of people sleeping rough in a stable environment.

  • Individual Multi-Agency Plans for each person. The Plans will outline who is responsible for co-ordinating the person’s care, which services are involved and the support available. A key part of the Plan will be to outline the client’s housing options to help them make informed choices about their future.

  • A primary care led hub with a multidisciplinary team delivering services in a number of settings in the city. This will support homeless people to access primary and community healthcare services. It will include outreach to street settings where appropriate as well as day centres and hospitals to support care and discharge planning.  

  • New accommodation for older homeless people with complex needs following a successful bid to the Homes & Communities Agency for £569,000. The accommodation will offer at least eight en-suite rooms adapted for people with physical disabilities and provide the extra support needed to improve their lives. This will also free-up much needed hostel space for others in need.

The strategy features five key priorities which build and develop on existing services in Brighton & Hove. The priorities are:

  1. Preventing Homelessness and Rough Sleeping – to provide a consistent message about housing options that helps services prevent homelessness and moves people away from sleeping rough

  2. Rapid Assessment and Reconnection – outreach to assess the needs of people sleeping rough to plan support, and where appropriate, reconnect people with friends, families and support networks, before they are fully immersed in street life

  3. Improving Health – to ensure people sleeping rough are supported by health and social care services that help them to regain their independence

  4. A Safe City – making sure people sleeping rough, residents and visitors are safe and free from intimidation

  5. Pathways to Independence – to support people sleeping rough into regaining their independence 

Full details of priorities and goals at the council website