Partnership support to keep people off the streets this winter
Providing the support will be different this year as COVID-19 and a second lockdown prevents the churches from opening their doors to provide shelter as in previous years for the winter night shelter. This means that as the nights get colder, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and partners from the Basingstoke and Deane Social Inclusion Partnership will continue to work together to provide personalised tailored support to help keep people safe and secure during the pandemic.
This builds on the work carried out since March which has seen over 90 individuals directly supported with accommodation and the right support to meet their needs. Personalised to the individual, the support is vital to improving wellbeing and recovery and to help prevent them returning to the streets. And so far it has achieved excellent results to ensure that no-one is currently rough sleeping in the borough.
Thanks to work by the partners and successful funding bids to Government, some clients have also been able to move into new supported accommodation schemes provided by Sovereign Housing, giving them their own home and support to continue their journey.
But the causes of rough sleeping are often complex and can make it hard for some people to settle into a life away from the streets. The social inclusion partners - which include homelessness experts, volunteers and charities - continue to look at new and innovative ways to tackle homelessness and the causes of homelessness - and develop COVID-safe ways of providing socially distanced, emergency alternatives to the usual winter night shelter provision. This includes outreach support for anyone who may find themselves sleeping rough for the first time or those who return to the streets.
The council has pledged to eradicate rough sleeping and ensure that everybody with housing needs has more accommodation choices available to them.
Chair of the Social Inclusion Partnership and Cabinet Member for Homes and Families Cllr Tristan Robinson said: “We are committed to protecting and supporting our most vulnerable residents and this support has been needed more than ever throughout the pandemic. As we move into the colder, darker months it is even more vital this excellent level of support continues to ensure there is access to safe and secure accommodation and the right support to help individuals on their journey away from the streets. This is only possible with the tremendous partnership work carried out by the social inclusion partnership, all working together to eradicate rough sleeping in our borough.”
For more information on homelessness support available visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/homelessness