R has a mental health issue and has struggled with substance misuse for the last 3 years.
The journey so far
Throughout this time, outreach services have sought to build trust and a positive working relationship with R. This has been challenging; in the past 3 years R has moved through 10 emergency accommodation placements in different local authority services, each of which ended either due to eviction, short term custodial sentences or abandonment.
It was agreed with R that he would be referred into the Rough Sleeper Initiative (RSI) project. R was open to seeking a viable tenancy option which his RSI worker managed to secure through the RSI partnership.
Outreach services arranged R’s travel to view a flat he was happy with and arranged to support him with the move. At all stages he was accompanied and supported, meaning workers were able to understand and alleviate his fears where possible building his confidence and trust with the workers.
R took up his tenancy on 5 October 2018 and while it is early days, he is making excellent progress. The stability of a tenancy has provided him with an opportunity to work towards stability in other areas of his life; he is also working to access drug addiction treatment services.
The RSI worker remains in contact with R, ensuring he feels supported and remains focused. He is settling into his new flat and is feeling much happier.
Liverpool’s funded interventions for 2018 to 2019 included securing access to settled long term ‘dispersed’ tenancies with on-going support for up to 40 individuals. This involves securing independent accommodation across the Liverpool city council area, targeted for identified rough sleepers, like R, who are then offered the support they require to sustain the tenancy.
How the government is tackling rough sleeping
The rough sleeping initiative is a cross-government plan of action to significantly reduce the number of people sleeping rough. This is backed by a targeted £75 million fund for local authorities with high levels of rough sleeping to use in 2018 to 2020.
Alongside this, the government’s rough sleeping strategy and its supporting delivery plan lay out plans both to help people who are sleeping rough now, and to put in place the structures needed to end rough sleeping for good.
On 1 October 2018 the Homeless Reduction Act 2017’s duty to refer came into force. The duty to refer means that certain named public bodies must refer users of their service who they have reason to believe are – or are at risk of soon becoming – homeless, to a local authority of the service users’ choice.