Members of the public are being encouraged to give their views on Swindon Borough Council’s ambitious plans to tackle rough sleeping.
The council is launching a new scheme, 'Rough Sleeper Reduction Strategy', to lay out sustainable plans to decrease the amount of rough sleepers in Swindon over the next three years.
The strategy focuses on three key areas: prevention, intervention and recovery, and seeks to ensure that nobody arrives on the street and that nobody returns to the street.
The priorities contained in the strategy include providing a rapid joined-up response to help people who are already sleeping rough, offering outreach services to people with complex health needs and developing a range of accommodation options tailored to meet individual needs.
Councillor Cathy Martyn, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Safety, said: “We are committed to reducing the numbers of rough sleepers in Swindon and this strategy is an important tool for achieving that.
“From providing emergency accommodation to everyone who needs it to opening a new day care centre to provide services to homeless people, this Council already offers a lot of support to rough sleepers and this critical document acts as a public declaration that outlines our mission.
“I would urge people to submit comments before the deadline at the end of January and they will be taken into account before the strategy is finalised.”
To further help the Council achieve its aim of reducing the numbers of rough sleepers in Swindon, the authority will work closely with institutions such as prisons, young offender institutions, hospitals and the armed forces to ensure people have sustainable plans in place before they leave, and thus do not end up homeless.
Every year, the Council spends £1.4m providing support and accommodation to people experiencing housing difficulties.
In late 2018, the Council launched the Temporary Winter Housing Provision scheme which proved so successful last year. The programme sees an identified group of rough sleepers given accommodation and close personal support with the aim of getting them into permanent accommodation.
This year, the scheme comes with the opening of a new day centre, run by Swindon Night Shelter, which provides vital support services to rough sleepers in Swindon.
The consultation runs until Thursday, 31 January 2019 and the results and comments will be collated.
To view the strategy and submit a comment, log on to https://bit.ly/2Fcwcx8.