Number of rough sleepers recorded in Cornwall falls slightly

Official figures released by the government indicate that the number of rough sleepers recorded on a single night in Cornwall in November 2021 was 28. This is one fewer than the 29 people recorded as sleeping rough in November 2020.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for housing and planning Cllr Olly Monk said: “It’s a very small drop in the numbers.”

“We need to remember just how quickly someone can find themselves faced with the prospect of sleeping rough.”

“The strong focus on prevention and early intervention through effective partnership working is key. There is no sole service or agency responsible for addressing rough sleeping and multi-agency approaches prove to be the most effective means of tackling it.”

“We’re committed to ensuring that no one is forced to sleep rough in Cornwall.  We want to make sure the help is there for those threatened with having to sleep rough.  We also help those already living on the streets so that they have the support they need to lead settled lives.”

Cornwall Council continues to deliver initiatives to help people sleeping rough on our streets, as well as those who are faced with homelessness. These include:

  • 49 self-contained units available at temporary emergency accommodation sites at New County Hall, Longrock and Camborne
  • Construction of 10 one bedroom modular ‘move on’ accommodation, with on-site support to help people on their journey towards settled, permanent accommodation
  • Refurbishment of disused properties to further increase temporary accommodation
  • Purchase of 29 self-contained modular ‘micro homes’
  • Emergency Cold Weather Provision, running from December to March and delivered by Harbour Housing
  • Housing First – Based on finding someone accommodation first and then wrapping around intensive support. Aimed at people with the most complex needs.

In March 2020 at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, the Government announced, ‘Everyone In’ and we saw an increase in the number of people sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough as lockdown impacted. We accommodated over 600 people through the Everyone In initiative.

This latest snapshot figure comes from the annual estimate on the number of rough sleepers in Cornwall counted on a typical night in November 2021.  The count follows published guidance from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The figure was also agreed by partner agencies in Cornwall including St Petrocs, We Are With You, and Coastline Housing.  All local authorities undertake an estimate or a count at this time of year.

The peak of 99 people recorded as sleeping rough in 2016 led the Council to launch its Rough Sleeper Reduction Strategy in 2017. This Strategy committed £1m and saw the launch of prevention service Nos Da Kernow. NDK continues to run with a 90% prevention success rate.

In 2018/19, the national Rough Sleeper Initiative (RSI) was introduced. Cornwall was a beneficiary of this grant funding and in combination with the Rough Sleeper Reduction Strategy, we have developed a rough sleeper service that offers a wide range of interventions, from assertive outreach services to the Next Steps Mental Health project to tenancy sustainment support. Our new Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Strategy was adopted in March 2020.

Work continues with a range of partners and agencies to reduce rough sleeping and a bid is being submitted shortly to government for funding for the next three years to continue and extend rough sleeping services. Additional accommodation is also due to be available in coming months including the new rough sleeper assessment centre at Chough House in Truro and move on accommodation at Cowlins Mill in Pool.

Anyone who is concerned about someone sleeping rough should contact Streetlink – a 24/7 website, or phone (0300 500 0914) to send out an alert about the location of someone sleeping rough.

Streetlink will then pass on the information to our Assertive Street Outreach Team.  The team will make contact with the person rough sleeping within 48 hours of receiving a report to carry out an assessment to identify their needs and support them into accommodation.

Anyone who feels they are in danger of having to sleep rough should call Cornwall Housing on 0300 1234 161.

Story posted 28 February 2022

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