More than 100 rough sleepers supported during pandemic in North Somerset
- Credit: Pixabay
North Somerset Council officers have helped more than 100 people off the streets in the district and assisted many into permanent, long-term accommodation throughout the pandemic.
Following many queries about support for rough sleepers in the area, deputy leader of the authority, Mike Bell, whose portfolio includes housing, said: "Since the beginning of the first lockdown last year, we have continued to apply the everyone in approach and this included finding accommodation for those who were in the night assessment centre.
"Due to our continued close working with our rough sleeper outreach services and local charities, we're confident that all rough sleepers have been identified and offered support.
"Unfortunately, there is always a small number who do consistently refuse our offers of help, but support remains available to them and we make frequent checks to encourage people to take up the assistance available.
"I want to thank our rough sleeper and homeless prevention team who have done a great job throughout the pandemic, getting more than 100 people off the streets and many into permanent, long-term accommodation.
"The team continues to build on the really close and fruitful working relationships they have formed with partner agencies.
"At the moment, we have 23 former rough sleepers or those threatened with rough sleeping in temporary accommodation.
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"Since March last year, 51 rough sleepers have been moved from temporary accommodation into longer-term tenancies with a tenancy support worker where necessary.
"Our work has included ensuring personal budgets are allocated and that starter home packs are available."
In addition, councillor Bell said the work the council has done has also been recognised by the Ministry of Housing, communities and local government.
Cllr Bell added: "Rough sleeping is an emotive issue which draws negative comments and we cannot always give a detailed response due to issues around confidentiality.
"However, we continue to address this issue with a good deal of success and we continue to be so grateful for all the work of our partners, charities, church groups and volunteers."
Anyone concerned about a rough sleeper should contact StreetLink on 03005 000914. Streetlink is the national rough sleeping helpline which alerts local services.