Partnership effort more important than ever following small increase in rough sleeper count
Each year the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities asks every local authority to submit the number of people sleeping rough in their area in November. In Basingstoke and Deane the number of people sleeping on the streets has consistently fallen from 26 in 2016 to zero in 2020, but the number recorded this year was two.
This year’s figure was agreed by members of the Social Inclusion Partnership, which is a coalition of statutory services, commissioned housing providers, voluntary and faith-based groups and those with lived experience.
The Chair of the Social Inclusion Partnership and the borough council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Housing Regeneration Cllr Tristan Robinson has said homelessness and rough sleeping is not unique to the borough and the latest figures show that work to tackle this complex issue will never stop.
Cllr Robinson added: “It is disappointing that we have seen a small increase in the number of people sleeping rough on our streets in this year’s count and two is two too many. However, I am incredibly proud of the track record of hard work, innovation, expertise and commitment from our partners in the Social Inclusion Partnership which has made a huge difference across Basingstoke and Deane despite many challenges including the pandemic.
“Rough sleeping and the causes of rough sleeping are complex and it important that, in addition to helping people into accommodation, we address the deeper issues and ensure that support is available for people looking for a life away from the streets. We continue to work closely with rough sleepers to provide the individual and tailored support that they need to come off and stay off the streets.
“I would like to thank everyone who continues to work with us to build on our successes and find new solutions to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents and eradicate rough sleeping in the borough.”
For more information on the work of the Social Inclusion Partnership to tackle homelessness in the borough visit www.realchangebasingstoke.org.uk or follow @realchangebas on Facebook or Twitter.