Homelessness and rough sleeping strategy

February 2023 update

What steps we are taking to enable homeless people to move forward in their lives?

Rough sleeper services and provision available

There are a range of specialist services linked to the prevention and reduction of homelessness and rough sleeping already commissioned in the borough and a variety of support is available for individuals, such as:

Brighter Futures Rough Sleeper Outreach Team

The team work 365 days where they go out between 6am-2pm to verify individuals found rough sleeping. Once verified, the team link in with partners and housing providers to offer accommodation options for individuals found.

Through our Rough Sleeper Initiative Funding we have been able to create a support pathway to support our homeless cohort. See breakdown below:

Reactive - Rough Sleeper Navigator

This role will assist rough sleepers to access and engage in services; offering advice and support on all options; advocating and negotiating on behalf of customers; and working closely with other agencies externally & internally in order to provide options, prevent and relieve homelessness and rough sleeping.

Preventative - Tenancy Sustainment Officer

This role is to help rough sleepers attain and maintain accommodation. This will include; actions to prevent evictions from temporary and supported accommodation (one of the key reasons for repeat rough sleeping); actions to support moving on from temporary and supported accommodation; building individual relationships to identify what type of accommodation in what location is suitable; ensuring practical aspects of moving are completed; negotiating with landlords to prevent any landlord tenant concerns / rent arrears. The officer will work with individuals for as long as needed, there is no timescale on cases.

Recovery - Rough Sleeper Support Officer

Working with rough sleepers in temporary accommodation / newly into a tenancy looking for support to develop and maintain their new life. Including diversionary activities, education, sport, practical activities, volunteering, peer support programmes and developing work opportunities. The role would have a personalised budget to help smooth the way into activities or essentials to compliment activities i.e. work clothes, bus pass, memberships, interview expenses, uniform.

Rough Sleeper Co-Ordinator

Jointly commissioned with stoke on Trent – this role will look at innovative solutions and interventions where barriers and blockages occur in the system. Through the use of problem solving with a range of partner agencies, voluntary sector, community groups businesses and residents.

Homeless Healthcare worker

This role is jointly commissioned with Stoke on Trent via the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board ICB. The role provides frontline healthcare to rough sleepers, a cohort who don’t usually engage with preventative health or attend appointments. Developing relationships to encourage further health engagement including with mental health and addiction services.

Rough sleeper figures

Rough sleeper figures
Month Monthly figures Single night figures
January 16 4
February 18 13
March 19 8
April 13 13
May 14 12
June 22 14
July 21 12
August 23 4
September 13 5
October 10 4
November 8 6
December 13 4

We have been able to reduce our single night figures due to the RSI roles commencing in August 2022 and the positive impact our support pathway has created.

Multi-Agency Homelessness Hub

A need was identified for a one stop shop where individuals can meet to access support from varies agencies, which negates the needs for appointments, a barrier which often hinders engagement. As a result we have set up a Hub, which started 1st September 2022. It runs 9am-12pm. The first hour is where partners meet to problem solve complex cases, discuss hotspot locations and share partner updates and as of 10am the Hub is open for service users to get food, advice and support. On first opening we had 10 service users and 22 partner agencies such as; DWP, Concrete, brighter Futures, Homeless health, mental health, probation, CAB, various housing associations to name a few. This has grown and developed where we have over 25 service users and over 25 agencies turn up on a weekly basis. We have had some great success stories of supporting individuals, fast tracking them in services and preventing/reducing rough sleeping in the area. See statistics below:

Since the service opened on 1st September 2022 we have had 116 individuals through the door.

  • 10 have been supported into accommodation
  • 45 have attended to access support from services and prevent evictions
  • 93 have attended for food and the social aspect of the Hub

Temporary Accommodation Pathway

We have created a temporary accommodation pathway to support this cohort into accommodation.

Bronze- 4 family units that Newcastle Housing can place families that present at any time of the day or night.

Silver- We have 8 single units with low level support that Newcastle Housing Advice can discharge duty to and we can use as a stepping stone for the Rough Sleeper Accommodation Programme.

Rough Sleeper Accommodation Programme- 6 single units to support rough sleepers off the street, which comes with a full time support worker.

Night Shelter

We opened up a 7 bed night shelter over the winter period (1 Nov 2022 - 31 March 2023) to support our rough sleepers to access accommodation during the coldest months and engage with support so that appropriate accommodation can be sought for them after March.

Please be aware that with all the support that is provided, it is all reliant on customer engagement and if they are willing and ready to take up what is on offer. There are those that take longer to engage, but with continued persistence and relationship building with the team, the majority tend to work with us.