York council 16102023

New funding to support rough sleepers off York’s streets

Based on the council’s successful past and planned work, £265,854 has been secured for the coming two financial years to increase capacity by a third to prevent homelessness, support people out of rough sleeping and reduce the risk of a return to living on the streets.
The allocation from the Government’s Rough SIeeping Initiative (RSI) for 2023/24 is £128,995 and for 2024/25 is £136,859. This is in addition to funding totalling £500,000 from DHLUC for 23/4 which is a five-fold increase in spend since 2018.

This funding will be used to increase specialist support for people sleeping rough. This is delivered by Rough Sleeper Housing Navigators, who are among a partnership which supports hundreds of people into more stable, long-term housing every year. The team has helped eliminate long-term rough sleeping in the city, encouraging many who would not previously accept long-term accommodation with wraparound support. They have also helped many people who just needed a quick helping hand into accommodation.

The navigators work with people at risk of, and actually sleeping rough. They are there in the early morning and daytime, on York’s streets and at breakfast sessions and carefully build trust. Knowing where people sleep rough and the complex issues they face, the navigators work sensitively and quickly to get to know each individual and to best match their needs with suitable accommodation and an appropriate level of support.

They also provide support to former rough sleepers who have moved into accommodation and who are working towards taking on a tenancy of their own, and to help people keep their tenancy and so prevent them becoming homeless.

Cllr Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council, said: “Whether the problem is poor mental health, dealing with drug or alcohol abuse, relationship breakdown or serious financial problems, services are designed to provide the right support at the right pace for those that need it. This aims to help each person into suitable accommodation and to offer them a package of support that helps them live independently and well, and to avoid them returning to the street.

“Once they’re working with the council and our partners, we can look to address each person’s individual needs, including getting benefits in place, training for work, budgeting and tenancy management, before helping them into permanent, stable accommodation.”

Keira Snaith, Manager at Carecent, said: “Carecent has always been one of the first points of contact for those rough sleeping in York. Over the past couple of years, it has been great to link up with the Rough Sleeper Housing Navigators and look at ways we can work together.

“We now offer a drop-in session most Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, where one of the Navigators will be at Carecent alongside our breakfast service, offering advice to those who need it, and also supporting those who can access housing into the appropriate services. It is great to know that this person-centred approach to those rough sleeping will be continued.”

For more information, please visit www.york.gov.uk/roughsleeping.

If you see someone sleeping outdoors, please call StreetLink’s national rough sleeper reporting line on 0300 5000 914. They will notify us so we can offer help.