New initiative to help and house Poole homeless

The Borough of Poole is going to carry out a new emergency short-term accommodation service for rough sleepers.

This service aims to develop a ‘move-on’ plan and free up emergency bed space for another rough sleeper in order to help more people during cold weather spells.

“It is an exciting idea based on the Government’s ‘No Second Night Out’ model and one which I think will drastically help guide people faced with sleeping rough back into accommodation,” said Sean Webber, partnerships and contacts officer of the council’s Housing and Communities Services.

However, housing and shelter places are limited and this aspect of the service is relatively new and still needs to be developed.

The Borough of Poole recently urged anyone concerned about people sleeping rough to contact the national initiative Street Link.

Webber has confirmed that the Borough of Poole’s own website’s homeless reporting function has had 15 alerts of rough sleeper locations from members of the public since it went live in September 2012. BCHA have received a total of 8 Street Link referrals since December, the majority of which have been within the last week.

Rough sleepers often face a range of issues and support needs, including drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues and sometimes criminal history. Some are already used to living on streets or in garages and refused to return to accommodation. It often takes time and patience for the team to open them up and develop trust.

Mr Webber felt that people should appreciate the whole story in order to grasp the complexity of the issues facing the rough sleepers.

More information and advice from Poole Council on homelessness is available here.

Main image credit: Clive Power

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