Thursday, 24 January 2013

Lancaster district to benefit from new funding to help end rough sleeping

Lancaster City Council is set to benefit from a grant to help get rough sleepers off the street and back on track.

Lancashire-based charity The Foxton Centre has been awarded £197, 360 which will fund No Second Night Out Together - a project that will establish outreach teams across Lancashire who will make contact with rough sleepers in their area and provide a quick route off the streets.

The grant from the Government’s £20 million Homelessness Transition Fund will help Lancaster City Council increase its level of outreach support for rough sleepers such as helping them into accommodation and any other support which will prevent them from returning to the street .

Councillor Karen Leytham, Cabinet member with responsibility for housing, said:  “This is great news for our outreach support service.  Our dedicated and committed team of staff is on call 24/7 to respond to any new alerts of rough sleeping.  With the cold weather upon us, the speed and effectiveness of their response is more crucial then ever.”

Local people can now get involved in helping to identify rough sleepers via the StreetLink Scheme - a simple, quick and effective way of connecting any rough sleepers they might come across to the support services that they need.

• To alert the council to a rough sleeper call the StreetLink phone line - 0300 500 0914 or visit www.streetlink.org.uk . You can also download the StreetLink App from the iTunes or Google Market store free of charge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No Second Night Out is good in principle, but their previous reports have paid little attention to the complex causes of homelessness. It allows scant time for assessment of individual need, and focuses on one problem (pick one - mental health or alcohol, for example) rather than a holistic client centred package. It also emphasises sending people back to where they come from, risking further alienation. Figures quoting the success of the scheme leave out the fact that nearly 3/4 of homeless people in some centres are lost to follow up. The interim report published by No Second Night Out also criticises local mental health teams for not doing enough, as the N2NO teams were unprepared or lacking in qualification to deal with the high levels of mental health difficulties. I do hope they address these problems, or plan to, in Lancaster. Speaking as a psychologist who has worked in a specialist mental health team for homeless people in the East End of London, I'd much rather see a way homeless people could be helped within our community (access to the same doctors or mental health teams to promote social inclusion, for example) rather than sent away with the potential to be forgotten about. Good luck in this endeavour.