News story

Rough sleeping strategy: prevention, intervention, recovery

Up to 6,000 vulnerable people will receive rapid specialist assessments and support under new measures in the government’s rough sleeping strategy.

Prevention, intervention, recovery

Up to 6,000 vulnerable people will receive rapid specialist assessments and support under new measures in the government’s rough sleeping strategy.

Backed by £100 million of funding, the strategy sets out the next steps towards achieving our aim of supporting everyone off the streets and into a home, and to end rough sleeping entirely by 2027.

Following £30 million of new funding for areas with the highest numbers of rough sleepers and the launch of the Housing First pilots, this strategy was developed across government and in conjunction with the Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel which is made up of representatives from the homelessness sector and local government. It sets out a three-pillared approach:

  • Prevention – understanding the issues that lead to rough sleeping and providing timely support for those at risk
  • Intervention – helping those already sleeping rough with swift support tailored to their individual circumstances
  • Recovery – supporting people in finding a new home and rebuilding their lives.

This system has prevention at its heart, focusing on stopping people from becoming homeless in the first place and providing them with the right support to find work and live independently.

Longer term, those sleeping rough will be rapidly housed and offered comprehensive support to ensure their specific needs are addressed so that they can move into suitable permanent accommodation at the earliest opportunity.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said:

It is simply unacceptable that people have to sleep on our streets and I am determined to make it a thing of the past.

Whether people are at risk of rough sleeping, already on the streets or in need of settled accommodation, we now have a solid plan to help the most vulnerable in our society.

And this is not just about putting a roof over their heads but helping them find a place to call home.

They need and deserve our support and, through our expert-backed strategy, I am confident they will get it.

Prevention

Understanding the issues that lead to rough sleeping and being able to address them before people are forced to sleep on our streets is the focus throughout this strategy. It’s clear there is not a one-size-fits-all solution and so we’ll be listening to individual groups (like LGBT people) to understand how they experience homelessness as well as working to build our understanding of the links between modern slavery and rough sleeping.

We’ll also be launching a range of new pilots to help those leaving prison find stable and sustainable accommodation and have committed new funding to intensive support for those with complex needs leaving care.

Intervention

Building on the work of the Rough Sleeping Initiative, we’re setting aside up to £17 million to fund ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay’ pilots to rapidly assess the needs of people at risk of rough sleeping and support them to get the right help. We will work locally with NHS England and Public Health England to fill gaps in health services for people sleeping rough as part of the long term plan for the health and social care. This starts with £2 million this year, and we have asked NHS England to spend up to £30 million over the next 5 years on health services for people who sleep rough.

To support this we’re also investing in training for front-line staff, including training on how to interact with those under the influence of substances like spice, identifying and supporting victims of modern slavery and domestic abuse, as well as how to effectively support LGBT people who are homeless.

We are also introducing ‘navigators’; specialists who will act as trusted confidantes and help people sleeping rough access the appropriate services and accommodation.

There’s also funding for StreetLink, supporting the public, business and communities to engage positively with people who sleep rough through an improved app.

Recovery

A stable home is an essential element in a person’s recovery from sleeping rough but it needs to go hand-in-hand with flexible support that is tailored to individual needs to help them keep it.

This includes £50 million of funding that will increase the supply of housing outside of London for people who have slept rough or those who are ready to move on from hostels or refuges and need additional support. A further £19 million of funding provides flexible support in homes provided exclusively for people with a history of sleeping rough and funding from dormant assets will provide up to £135 million, the majority of which will go to supporting innovative financing for homes for people who sleep, or are at risk of sleeping, rough.

There’s also funding to help local areas grow enterprises to support vulnerable people into accommodation, offering advice, building stronger relationships with local landlords and making efficient use of local housing supply. Further to this there will now be a homelessness expert in every Jobcentre Plus to offer advice, signpost to information and services, and provide support.

For more information see the rough sleeping strategy.

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Published 13 August 2018