Working together with our partners, we are continuing to take supportive action to prevent and reduce the numbers of rough sleepers in Colchester. Multiple support agencies are working together behind the scenes to help and support genuine rough sleepers.
Improvements have been made to increase support and provision and work has been ongoing for a significant period.
Last year, Colchester Borough Council and Tendring District Council were successful in securing funding to tackle rough sleeping from the MHCLG. They appointed the area’s first Early Response Rough Sleeper Co-ordinator.
The coordinator works in partnership with all agencies and rough sleepers themselves. Engaging and providing assertive outreach to every single rough sleeper, treating each as an individual to directly address their needs, to provide wrap around support.
Funding received will help move to follow the ‘Housing First’ model, which provides housing ‘first’, as a matter of right, so housing provides a stable platform where other issues can be addressed and wider support accessed.
A number of practical improvements have been completed and a number of plans are in place to improve available support. This includes:
- Increased bed spaces and support staff capacity at Colchester Night Shelter specifically for Colchester people at risk of rough sleeping.
- Outreach Workers – up to 3 new posts will be created to provide more out of hours assertive outreach services
- Severe Weather Emergency Protocol – new provision to provide continuous severe weather extended winter provision accommodation and support from September to Mid-March, with specialist support staff to move people on to the next step once the provision ends.
The reasons why people find themselves in a vulnerable position are usually extremely complex. We believe people should be treated as individuals and have the opportunity to access a package of support by multiple agencies.
Everyone has a role to play in tackling rough sleeping and with public support we can improve lives across the borough. If you see a rough sleeper and are concerned for their welfare, you can report them directly to support services who can help them via StreetLink.
StreetLink is a website and mobile app available across England and Wales which enables the public to alert local authorities about rough sleepers in their area.
This service offers the public a means to act when they see someone sleeping rough in our borough and is the first step someone can take to ensure rough sleepers are connected to the local services and support we can offer them.
The more people know about StreetLink, the greater the chance people sleeping rough will be found and helped tonight.
If you see someone sleeping rough, visit www.streetlink.org.uk or download the free mobile app for Apple and Android to alert your local authority about rough sleepers in the area.
We work with many external organisations and volunteer services who do a fantastic job in making a difference to people’s lives. These include but are not limited to: