Westminster witnessed more than 1500 new rough sleepers last year. Hundreds more came and went who had prior histories of rough sleeping. Our teams work through night and day to reduce the impact of this activity on everyone concerned but we need to ensure that what we do really makes a difference for the benefit of residents, businesses, visitors and the rough sleepers themselves.
The City Council is undertaking a consultation on the new Rough Sleeping Strategy which will run from 2013-16. The last 3-year Rough Sleeping Strategy was developed in 2010. Since then there have been changes in the profile of rough sleeping, and the challenges we face. During this time we have been working hard to minimise the negative impacts from rough sleeping as well as assisting those in need of help and support. We have assisted many rough sleepers to take the incredibly difficult journey away from the streets and changed their lives for the better. However we are mindful that any strategy has to tread a delicate balance as we know that, for many of our residents and businesses, rough sleeping and associated street activity can be a blight on their daily lives. Do you think we could be doing more and how could we do things differently?
Our proposed priorities for the next three years are set out below and you are invited to provide comments.
Read the draft Strategy.
For further information about the Rough Sleeping Strategy, or to respond to the consultation, contact: David Eastwood, Rough Sleeping Team, 10th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Responses to the consultation will close on the 16th June 2013.
On 1 July 2005 Westminster became the first Local Authority in the country to move the core part of their outreach services for homeless people from the streets into buildings.
This new approach has meant that outreach workers are now based at day and night centres with extended operating hours, where rapid and assertive needs-led assessment and support planning takes place.
Westminster has ensured that dedicated street workers are available to assess vulnerable rough sleepers who can still be met on the streets, and a specialist mental health team (the Joint Homelessness Team) will continue to carry out mental health assessments on the streets.
Three Building Based Services act as the first point of assessment and action planning for homeless people across Westminster - The Passage Day Centre, St Mungo's Rough Sleepers Assessment Centre, and Connection at St Martin’s Day Centre.
Tel: 020 7592 1850
Tel: 020 7766 5544
Tel: 020 7724 9256
The Met Police Safer Streets Homeless Unit (SSHU)
Westminster has a dedicated borough-wide police team who deal exclusively with rough sleeping and associated anti-social street activity (including begging and street drinking)
Tel: 020 7321 7560
This is a dedicated helpline for members of the public who are concerned about people sleeping rough in their area. The number is available 24 hours a day to members of the public who notice new people sleeping rough or are concerned about the deteriorating health and wellbeing of familiar rough sleepers. Information given to the helpline will be passed on to the building based rough sleepers services and help directed accordingly.
In a medical emergency, an ambulance should always be called.
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