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Count of rough sleepers carried out

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An annual count to establish the number of rough sleepers in Charnwood has been carried out by the borough council, with the support of local partner agencies.

Four teams checked over 50 locations across the borough in the early hours of Wednesday, November 21. Three people were found during the operation. Two people accepted the offers of accommodation for the night and one person declined the offer of support.

The count is to establish a picture of the number of rough sleepers within the borough on a typical night and followed guidelines set by Homeless Link, a charity which works with organisations involved in supporting homeless people. A verifier from the charity attended the count.

The Council is required by government to provide either an estimate of the number of rough sleepers in the borough or carry out an actual count. The findings from the count contribute towards building a national picture of rough sleeping in the UK.

Cllr Paul Mercer, the Council’s lead member for housing, said: “We are fully aware that throughout the year there are people sleeping rough in the borough as this is an issue facing all towns and cities.

“The housing options team are focussed on supporting people in need of help on a day to day basis and trying to engage with those that decline help”.

“During the evening we discovered three people sleeping rough. We offered accommodation and two of the people took up the offer and one person declined. We offer advice and assistance but cannot force people to engage with services or take up the offer of accommodation.

“The issues around the causes of rough sleeping are complex but our services are set up to help people facing problems who require advice and assistance in finding somewhere to live.”

The support available to rough sleepers in Charnwood includes:

  • Falcon Support Services has a drop-in service which provides food, clothing, washing facilities, advice and support to rough sleepers. https://www.falconsupportservices.org.uk/the-drop-in
  • The Bridge’s homelessness transitions team provides intensive one-to-one support to anyone aged 18 or over who is sleeping rough. thebridge-eastmidlands.org.uk/homelessness-transitions-service
  • The No Second Night Out scheme which provides somewhere for rough sleepers to stay while the homelessness transitions team help them to secure longer-term accommodation. There are three No Second Night Out beds across the region including two at the Falcon Centre in Loughborough
  • The council’s housing options team can provide advice and assistance to people who are homeless and rough sleeping.

If you are worried about someone who may be sleeping rough in Charnwood please call the housing options team on 01509 634567 or email housing@charnwood.gov.uk.  Alternatively, send an alert via the national StreetLink service by visiting www.streetlink.org.uk.