A dedicated team who help rough sleepers change their lives around have played a big part in reducing the numbers of people living on Wiltshire’s streets.
The Outreach Workers are part of a wider initiative by Wiltshire Council to work closely with those sleeping on the streets.
Tackling Rough sleeping is a priority for Wiltshire Council which wants to provide appropriate support to improve health and wellbeing.
In the last couple of years there had been an increase in the number of rough sleepers with a range of overlapping and multiple disadvantages, such as addiction, poor physical and mental health and offending histories.
In 2018 the council bid for funds from the national Rough Sleepers Initiative and was granted £312,245 for 2018/19 and £305,491 for 2019/20.
The money has been used to:
- recruit a Rough Sleeper Team Leader with a team of five outreach workers, one of whom has a mental health specialism, and a rough sleeper prevention officer
- provide eight- bed winter accommodation in Trowbridge which includes overnight support, due to open in December
- offer six high level support bed spaces for long-term rough sleepers with complex needs
- provide 10 beds at Alabare Place, Salisbury, and 10 winter spaces at Unity House in Chippenham, and eight severe weather provision places
- fund 15 private lets for rough sleepers and £10,000 for personal budget requests to help unlock barriers in securing accommodation
Following our recent rough sleeper estimate carried out in November, 22 Rough Sleepers were recorded compared to 31 the same time last year.
Richard Clewer, cabinet member for housing, said: “It is such good news to see how taking direct action and providing targeted support means we now have a significant reduction in the numbers of people sleeping rough in Wiltshire.
“We know one person sleeping on the streets is one person too many so we pledge to continue providing that targeted support which is clearly making such a difference.
“There are often complex reasons why people choose to sleep rough so we need to continue this good work.”