Sustainable ways to end street homelessness in Torbay are being looked at through a partnership that consists of Torbay Council, Shekinah Mission and Westward Housing and the charity Crisis.

Over the next eight weeks, Crisis will be speaking to groups and individuals who have an interest with regard to rough sleeping to understand what is happening locally, and what needs to change.

Crisis will be looking at how to ensure a supply of decent affordable housing for rough sleepers along with the support they need to sustain a home. Their recommendations will be made in March.

Executive Lead for Housing Councillor Vic Ellery said “The challenge of street homelessness is a national one, but we are committed to addressing it in Torbay. The scale of the challenge should not be underestimated.”

Councillor Jackie Stockman, also Executive Lead for Housing said: “We have little social housing, a competitive rental market, and people leaving the streets often need considerable support to remain in their new home. We are very pleased to be working with Crisis and benefitting from their expertise in this area”.

Torbay Council is already working with local partners on the Torbay End Street Homelessness Campaign, and is in receipt of grant funding from the DCLG which funds an outreach team and volunteer co-ordinator. 70 people have been housed through the DCLG rough sleeper grant funding since May 2017, in addition to the 75 people who have been accommodated in the Leonard Stocks hostel in the same period.

Crisis recently carried out a case study of rough sleeping in Liverpool, looking into how their system could be changed to improve the homelessness situation. Their recommendations have led to Government funding to pilot a new way of working with rough sleepers.

Notes

The Torbay End Street Homelessness Campaign is part of a wider European movement alongside cities such as Glasgow, Brighton, Cardiff, Sheffield, Barcelona and Athens. Locally, the campaign includes Shekinah, Westward Housing, Torbay Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, PATH, The Haven, Street Pastors, The Living Room, TOWNS night shelter and Torbay Recovery Information Project. TESH aims to know exactly who is on the streets and what they need to move into their own home. This happens by volunteers going out on the streets and surveying people; the information is passed to workers who contact people and work with them to find a home and the support they need. The campaign believes that everyone has a right to a home, and no one should be sleeping on the streets.


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