Bournemouth's efforts to support rough sleepers showcased at MP visit

Posted on Friday 20th July 2018
Members of Bournemouth’s rough sleeper team welcomed the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on Friday 13 July at a visit to discuss the positive work to support vulnerable rough sleepers in the town.

Staff from St Mungo’s who operate the rough sleepers outreach team for both Bournemouth and Poole, together with Bournemouth’s Council Leader, Cabinet Member for Housing and staff from the housing team attended the event, held at St Mungo’s office in Bournemouth.

The minister was keen to hear about the work of the outreach team as well as the Council’s plans to enhance services for rough sleepers following a successful bid for additional funding of £387,500 awarded by government.

David Lidington, Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “The Rough Sleeping Initiative is focussed on measures that will have a rapid impact this year as we work to deliver our manifesto commitment to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it altogether by 2027.

“It is unacceptable for us to have another year where the number of people sleeping on our streets continues to rise. I am impressed by the plans here in Bournemouth and I look forward to seeing the results.”

Councillor John Beesley, Leader of Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “I was delighted to welcome the Minister to Bournemouth to see the great work that is being done by our outreach team and partner organisations in the town to support rough sleepers and help those most vulnerable in our community to access services and accommodation.”

Councillor Robert Lawton, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Preventing rough sleeping is a priority for the Council, and so this was a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how the additional funding will build on what we already have in place to prevent rough sleeping. We are committed to making prompt and effective use of this additional fund and we know that it will make a very real and positive difference to many people’s lives.”

Paul Hudson, Regional Head, St Mungo’s, said: “It was great to welcome the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to our offices to hear how our work is helping people in Bournemouth to come off the streets and rebuild their lives.

“The Bournemouth and Poole Rough Sleeper Team work exceptionally hard to support rough sleepers in the area. They are on shift six days a week; assessing people’s needs and offering support with accommodation, employment and health needs. Last year our team worked with 554 people, and helped 288 of them into accommodation. This additional funding will allow us to support more people at every step of their recovery from homelessness.”