Sheffield's Rough Sleeper Initiative - 07/01/2019
What is The Rough Sleeper Initiative?
In March 2018 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced the creation of a new multi-disciplinary rough sleeper initiative to work intensely with local areas to tackle rough sleeping and to identify and address the barriers to ending rough sleeping in England. A fund of £30 million was established and Sheffield City Council submitted a bid for funding which was ultimately successful.
The funding has enabled the creation of a small team within Housing Solutions who are tasked to work with rough sleepers via enhanced support and to find suitable and sustainable long-term housing options with a focused approached to rough sleepers providing a personalised tailored response.
The team works alongside prisons, probation & hospitals for people due to be released/discharged who are of NFA and likely to rough sleep as well as working closely with Sheffield City Councils commissioned outreach service, Framework and supported accommodation providers.
Who are The Rough Sleeper Initiative team?
The team comprises of a Manager, 2 full time Housing Options Officers and 3 full time Enhanced Support and Resettlement Officers.
The Housing Solutions Officers ensure rapid assessments to anyone who is either rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping including on street assessments or at outreach sessions in the community held at the Archer Project day centre or at the probation office. They also provide next day assessments for anyone using emergency overnight accommodation especially after Weather Watch has been called. The officers will then work closely alongside an individual, taking into account their wishes, to find long term sustainable housing options.
The Enhanced Support & Resettlement Officers provide an intensive approach to people with complex needs living in supported, social and private rented housing enable individuals to successfully live independently they provide long term personalised time unlimited support focusing on supporting and resettling vulnerable people from the streets into longer term accommodation options. This includes enabling people to engage with mental health, drug, alcohol and substance misuse services increasing an individual’s access into key services.
Ring Fenced Emergency Accommodation
Additional emergency ring fenced accommodation for rough sleepers has been made available at Brightmore Drive and at The Salvation Army. This enables engagement and early housing conversations. We offer this to anyone on the streets along with a same day/next day assessment however both accommodation providers may decline an individual.
We aim for an Enhanced Support & Resettlement officer to make contact with an individual within 48 hours. An additional 6 bed spaces are also available at St Anne’s hostel from January to March in a communal area. These are very short-term beds while other options are explored.
Move On Accommodation
We will help people into their own home as soon as possible while recognising some of the difficulties people face in both accessing and successfully managing their accommodation. The following local social housing providers SYHA, Guinness, Arches, Great Places, ACIS, Together housing, Yorkshire Housing and Sanctuary Housing have all pledged properties specifically for rough sleepers to take them from the streets or emergency accommodation and into a tenancy with intensive, bespoke flexible support provide by the RSI teams Enhanced support and resettlement officers.
Rough Sleeper Prevention Fund
A rough sleeper prevention fund has been established which can be used innovatively and flexibly to support an individual improving access to accommodation by, but not limited to, reducing former tenancy arrears, rent in advance etc.
Additional Street Outreach
The RSI funding has included the funding of an additional outreach worker for the commissioned street outreach team Framework. This enables them to extend their outreach as well as linking in with the RSI team to target longer term rough sleepers.
November 2018 - 11 rough sleepers housed by RSI and partner agencies