Released on 13 December 2019 Archived Press Release
The annual estimate of the number of people sleeping rough across Stratford-on-Avon District for 2019 has been confirmed as 6, following the annual count that took place in early November. This is down from 10 rough sleepers reported in 2018, and 17 reported in 2017.
The District Council provides an estimate based on intelligence which means that it meets with a variety of support agencies, which include P3, the police and CGL, to go through the names of all known rough sleepers who have been verified as being outside on the typical night chosen. This year the process also included a spotlight count which was carried out in the early hours by P3's street outreach team.
Cllr Jo Barker, People Portfolio says: "The District Council is pleased to report the lowest number of rough sleepers in its area since the reporting of annual figures to the government started in 2010. The District Council has been working hard with partner agencies to tackle the issue and the drop in numbers by almost two-thirds reflects the enormous amount of positive work that has been done.
"However, there is still more to do. We know the government wishes to end rough sleeping by 2027 and the District Council is committed to working to achieve this. Earlier in 2019, the District Council successfully bid for funding from the government's Rough Sleeper Initiative, and has recently recruited a Coordinator who will be working on developing a rough sleeper strategy for the district. The Coordinator is also working on analysing how and why individuals end up on the streets, and developing ways to work more preventatively to stop the flow onto the streets.
"The District Council and its partners are committed to supporting those who do end up rough sleeping. The District Council and P3 continue to run the Stratford Link Project, a drop in support service for rough sleepers, which regularly engages with those on the streets to offer help and assistance."
All local authorities have to submit an annual figure to central government indicating the numbers of people sleeping rough in their area on a single 'typical' night, which this year was Wednesday 6 November. The figure is then independently verified by Homeless Link before being submitted to the government.
Also in Stratford there are a range of charities and organisations working to support vulnerable people in the community. This ranges from supporting people with day-to-day needs, to providing long term support enabling them to make lasting and meaningful change.
These groups have come together with a range of statutory partners to form the Meaningful Change campaign. By giving to the charities and organisations involved in this campaign rather than directly to those who beg, you can change lives. You will help to provide long term support rather than funding the current lifestyles in which many of those begging are trapped.
For more information please visit: www.meaningfulchange.org.uk
The Meaningful Change project will also work closely with the new Fred Winter Centre (Stratford Housing Plus) when opened, to ensure that all services to support homeless people are joined up and provide the best possible opportunities for those in need.
Other organisations and support agencies in Stratford that can help those sleeping rough include:
Stratford Link Project: (Open Tuesday and Thursday 1pm - 3pm) Baptist Church Hall, Payton Street, Stratford upon Avon. Support can include:
P3 Charity: housing-related floating support service to over 25s in Warwickshire: 0808 164 6220
St Basils: housing-related floating support to those aged 16 to 25 in Warwickshire: text NEED ST BASILS to 62277 or call 01789 332 540
CGL: alcohol and drug treatment centre: 16 Court St, Leamington Spa, CV31 2BB Tel: 01926 353513
Citizens Advice Bureau: 25 Meer Street, Stratford-upon-Avon. Tel: 01789 200136
JobCentrePlus: Martin Raff House, Alcester Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9DA. Tel: 0345 604 3719
Stratford Churches Together: Continues to assist with food and drink for rough sleepers at weekends and on Tuesday evenings.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575