Every year the Government asks local authorities to conduct a rough sleeper count across their respective boroughs.
The aim of the count is to establish a snapshot of the number of people actively living on the streets in England and to encourage them to come in from the cold so they’re able receive support from services in the local area.
In the Autumn of 2019 support staff from KiP@Maninplace joined our partners at Telford & Wrekin Council to carry out the annual rough sleeper count in our borough, and to reach as many people as possible who were living on the streets, ensuring they were offered vital support and an opportunity to take up a bed at the emergency accommodation known as the “Night Inn”.
Official statistics from the annual count of rough sleepers were released by the Government on the 27th February 2020. The report gives a detailed breakdown of the count across all boroughs in England and provides a comparison against previous years, showing increases and decreases of those living on our streets.
Maninplace has welcomes the 2019 report and is encouraged by the 9% reduction of people actively sleeping on the streets in England detailed in the count from 2018, and a 10% reduction from the peak number counted in 2017.
The count revealed an estimated 4,266 people sleeping rough In England in the Autumn of 2019, down 411 from the previous year.
The reduction in those sleeping rough indicates a positive and proactive approach taking place around the country by local charities, voluntary groups in the third sector and local authorities working alongside community groups. This has been further enhanced through initiatives and funding streams made available by central Government.
In Telford & Wrekin the 2019 count of people sleeping rough totalled 20, this is an increase from 13 in the previous year.
Thanks to the hard work carried out by the team at KiP@Maninplace in partnership with Stay outreach workers and the Housing Solutions team at Telford & Wrekin Council, all those identified as rough living at the time of the count were offered food, support and an opportunity to access emergency accommodation.
Shortly after the annual count, Maninplace instigated the start of SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Proviso), providing 16 emergency bed spaces across the borough to enable local rough sleepers an opportunity to escape from the colder temperatures and inclement weather.
The key objective for KiP@Maninplace and Maninplace is to provide a service based on “Housing First”. We believe the most appropriate model of addressing homelessness is through the provision of accommodation, only then can we begin to unpack the resulting impacts of someone’s homelessness, the trauma and life experiences that may have led to a person becoming homeless and assist someone to reach their personal aspirations and goals.
To view the Government’s rough sleeper report in full, please click here.
Further details about the count of rough sleepers, along with other activities taking place to help inform the Government about homelessness in England can be found out the Homeless Link website.