Camden secures £870k to tackle rough sleeping

Camden Council has successfully secured £870k from the government to enhance its work tackling rough sleeping in the borough.  That level of funding, from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), is the highest amount awarded for any individual local authority.

The funding will enable us to build on our successful outreach programme with the expansion of our dedicated hot spot teams, increasing the number of people we can help through our Housing First service and creating a team structure that will enable us to identify where we need to focus our support.

We know through our community conversations, that we have been holding across the borough since December, that rough sleeping is a concern for our residents. Through this enhanced programme of work we will continue, alongside our partners, to make effective interventions and increase the take up of services on offer, to help more people establish a life away from the streets.

Councillor Nadia Shah, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:

“We are delighted to receive the additional funds from the MHCLG, not only as acknowledgement of the effective approach being taken to support rough sleepers in Camden but also as recognition of the commitment of our officers, working together across the council, to developing new ways of reaching more people and providing the support they need.

“We have seen the harm caused by increasing levels of rough sleeping in the borough in recent years and the increase in high risk street activity which impacts on our communities. The council is committed to tackling the long-term issue of rough sleeping and supporting vulnerable individuals who find themselves in this predicament.

“This funding makes it possible for us to not only grow but expand our outreach programme. It will also directly support the delivery of our Routes off The Street strategy, to ensure that rough sleepers in Camden receive a service offer which means they no longer have to sleep rough and can start rebuilding their lives away from the street.”

The successful bid will deliver the following:

  • Setting up a fourth multi-agency dedicated hotspot team; made up of outreach workers, community presence officers and police officers. The new team will join our three established council funded teams, who have been working across Camden since 2017.The pilot hotspot team, which operated from Dec 2017 to March 2018, carried out 72 patrols, with 467 engagements with 190 individuals. The successful pilot secured further council investment, expanding to three teams in April.The teams’ focussed work over the last six months has meant we have been able to better understand the needs of our street population and make sure we have the right services and support they need to stay off the streets in both the short and long term.The new team will extend this work into new areas, with the aim of increasing take up of services, and improving the lives of those with more complex, entrenched individual involved in street activity.
  • The creation of a reconnection team, who will work alongside our hotspot teams, to provide intensive support for rough sleepers with complex needs with no connection to Camden. Providing specialist advice, advocacy and help those sleeping rough to return home, working with them to re-establish local connections and access services in their home town to build a life away from the streets.
  • Further investment in our Housing First service, provided by St Mungo’s, which delivers housing and tailored support to rough sleepers with multiple complex needs and a history of living on the streets. The services currently has the capacity to support 30 individuals in the long-term to support them towards individual living, this funding will enable us to increase this provision.
  • Fund a Women’s safe space co-ordinator, who will work with female rough sleepers who have specific needs, have accommodation but choose to sleep on the streets or are at risk of returning to the streets.

Work is underway to get the people and teams in place, with the aim of reducing the number of rough sleepers in Camden, by helping them establish lives away from the streets, in advance of both the national street count in November and the drop in temperature during the winter months.