James Brokenshire unveils action plan to combat rough sleeping

  • New road-map sets out next steps to support thousands of people off the street for good as government works to end rough sleeping by 2027
  • £11 million fund opened for councils across the country to support local people into safe accommodation where they can turn their lives around
  • This builds upon concrete government action to create a further 1,750 new beds and 500 additional outreach workers

Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has today (8 December 2018) unveiled the government’s next steps to help people off the streets and meet its target to end rough sleeping for good by 2027.

Following the publication of the Rough Sleeping Strategy this summer, the Rough Sleeping Delivery Plan, to be published on Monday 10 December, sets out how important measures contained in the strategy will be delivered – including targets and tough deadlines for all 61 commitments.

These include:

  • New Work Coaches for every single Jobcentre Plus by summer 2019 – helping the homeless to navigate the support available to them.

  • An expectation placed on all councils to publish detailed rough sleeping and homeless strategies by winter 2019 – setting out how councils plan to provide specialist support and accommodation for vulnerable people on the street. Government will take action where councils fail to do so.

  • Carrying out a comprehensive government study into the links between homelessness and the LGBT community – making sure the right support services are in place to help LGBT homeless people off the streets and into stable accommodation. The study will be published in summer 2019.

Ministers have also launched an £11 million fund for councils across the country to get as many people as possible off the streets and into secure accommodation where they can get the help they need to rebuild their lives.

This builds on the first year of the Rough Sleeping Initiative, launched in March, which is providing £64 million to over 80 councils over the next 2 years in England to support rough sleepers in their area.

This funding is creating 1,750 new bed spaces, as well as an additional 500 outreach workers many of whom who are already working tirelessly to support people off the streets and into recovery.

Communities Secretary, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

No-one is predestined to spend their lives sleeping on the streets. Yet, despite this, too many people still sleep rough on any given night.

That is why we are taking action to provide support to help get people off the street this winter and set the foundations to put an end to rough sleeping altogether by 2027. This new action plan sets out the next steps to making this goal a reality.

And while we are already seeing progress, I am clear we must go further than ever to achieve our ambition of a country in which no-one needs to sleep rough.

The delivery plan also sets out more detail on the new Rapid Rehousing Pathway, putting in place structures to prevent and quickly respond to rough sleeping in the long term.

Other commitments outlined in the Delivery Plan include:

  • Ongoing discussions with key sector bodies such as the Local Government Association and the Safeguarding Adult Boards Chairs Network to ensure that Safeguarding Adult Reviews are undertaken when a person who sleeps rough dies or is seriously harmed as a result of abuse or neglect; and
  • Reporting on the findings of a feasibility study on the causes of homelessness and rough sleeping

In recent weeks, the first people supported through the Housing First pilot scheme in the West Midlands have moved into their new homes.

The pilot is 1 of 3 currently being funded by £28 million in government funding – with Liverpool City Region and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority also piloting the approach.

Government previously established the Rough Sleeping Initiative in March this year with £30 million allocated to 83 areas with the highest number of rough sleepers in June this year. A further £45 million was pledged for these areas at the launch of the Rough Sleeping Strategy.

A total of £34 million of this funding was provisionally allocated to the 83 authorities this September with the remaining £11 million to now be allocated to authorities outside of the initiative.

Bidding for this fund is open from today and will close in February. Allocations of this fund will follow in due course.

Cheshire East – Emerging Futures

  • Funding from the Rough Sleeping Initiative this year has helped Cheshire East Council fund an organisation called Emerging Futures to deliver a number of beds for rough sleepers with complex needs – including substance abuse and mental health problems

  • The majority of beds were filled within weeks and each individual has a dedicated support worker in place as well as additional 24/7 support from organisation staff

  • Workers engage with the client to address their substance misuse and to help them rebuild their lives.