The Barnet Homes Rough Sleeper Team will be able to continue with their work to reduce the numbers of people having to sleep on the streets of Barnet.
Barnet Council successfully bid for more than £600,000 from a Central Government fund set aside to tackle rough sleeping in London.
The cash boost from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is good news for the Rough Sleeper Team, who now will be able to carry on their targeted prevention for another year.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has as of 28 January announced an extra £112 million of funding to councils, charities and other housing organisations. It’s a 30% increase on the funding given to cutting rough sleeping last year.
In 2018, Barnet’s Rough Sleepers’ project received £220,000 from the Rough Sleepers Initiative Fund. The £636,845 will go towards setting up a somewhere safe to stay hub and will maintain the current outreach work and placements into emergency accommodation that the Rough Sleeper Team has proven to be successful in the past year.
Barnet Homes Group Director of Operations and Property, Elliott Sweetman said: “We are delighted to have received more funds from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to maintain the strong start our Rough Sleeper Team delivered last year. No one should have to resort to sleeping rough and this additional funding will help us achieve our aim of at least halving the number of rough sleepers in Barnet.”
The Rough Sleeper Team is part of the Housing Options service that Barnet Homes offer. The team’s specialist work has included working more closely with other important services that support rough sleepers with accessing a settled life off the streets. In particular, the Rough Sleeper Team have increased coordination with the Police, Barnet’s Community Safety Team, Green Spaces and Neighbourhood Management. This year, Barnet’s first Homelessness Forum was launched – consisting of many of these partners and other local organisations who are working together to tackle homelessness in the borough.
The Rough Sleeper Team engages with people who are sleeping rough around Barnet through a persistent and assertive outreach approach. A high percentage of these rough sleepers are single men, often with alcohol/substance abuse, mental health and physical health issues.
The full detail on the Government’s Rough Sleepers allocation can be found on the gov.uk website