BCP Council will continue to lead the way nationally in the help it provides to people at risk of, or currently experiencing, rough sleeping, thanks to two key announcements from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC).
A funding application from BCP Council to the 2022 – 2025 Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) has been successful, resulting in £7.3 million being awarded to boost the council’s intervention services over a three-year period.
The RSI aims to prevent rough sleeping and help people move off the streets and out of danger permanently. The funding awarded from this initiative will be used by the council to provide additional accommodation to those in need, both for emergency or short-term assessment and longer-term homes.
Whilst the number of those rough sleeping in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole has been declining over the past three years, with a decrease from 72 in 2019 to 29 in 2021, the funding will support strategic and multi-disciplinary planning with a continued focus on prevention.
This follows previous increasing amounts of funding from DLUHC over the last four years.
Councillor Hazel Allen, Lead Member for Homelessness, said:
“Our mission is to work with partners and make sure that everyone in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole has a safe place to live. We thank our community partners for their continued dedication and tireless efforts towards our shared goal of ending homelessness.
“With the current cost of living crisis and added financial pressures, we are increasingly focussing on prevention strategies. This funding is crucial and will allow us to continue this essential work, which offers a lifeline to people who are rough sleeping and those at risk of losing their homes.”
BCP Council is one of five national Early Adopters of a pioneering project which brings together central and local government and the Centre for Homelessness Impact to develop a shared framework to define and measure progress towards ending rough sleeping in England.
As part of this work, the team from BCP Council helped design a clear definition of, and goal for ending rough sleeping. This goal is focused on preventing rough sleeping wherever possible and, where it cannot be prevented, making it a rare, brief, and non-recurrent experience
This shared definition and goal is being used to align national efforts across agencies and sectors to end rough sleeping. It has been officially adopted in DLUHC’s new Rough Sleeping Strategy - Ending Rough Sleeping For Good.