Sector support for rough sleepers

Long-term funding, improved access to social housing and clarity of guidance for rough sleepers with no recourse to public funds are among the improvements councils want to see to support for rough sleepers.

The findings are in ‘Voice of the sector: supporting rough sleepers at a time of national crisis’, a new LGA report sharing learning and good practice from the Everyone In initiative.

When the pandemic hit, councils were required to act urgently and rapidly to help rough sleepers off the streets and into safe and suitable accommodation, to protect them from the spread of COVID-19.

Following the success of Everyone In, which saw more than 37,000 vulnerable people supported, the LGA worked with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to facilitate a peer support process as part of its government-funded sector support programme.

This enabled lead council officers to reflect on their work and share learning through a programme of ‘delivery and impact panels’. The LGA facilitated 28 panels, involving 222 councils, between last December and February.

The report outlines the major issues, themes and learning from these panel sessions, capturing the voice of the sector as it carried out a crucial role at a time of national crisis.

Among the key themes to emerge were the commitment and dedication of frontline staff, opportunities for innovation, reframing relationships with partners, strengthened approaches to data sharing, and a welcoming of the national focus and funding from government.

Cllr David Renard, LGA Housing Spokesperson, said: “We have sought to build on the experiences of councils in responding to the crisis by sharing learning, knowledge and expertise so we can continue to work together to tackle rough sleeping.”

See www.local.gov.uk/publications for the full report

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