New rough sleeping hub officially opens in Camden

Routes off The Street (RTS), a new service providing specialist services to rough sleepers in Camden officially opened this week.

Provided by Change Grow Live (CGL), a charity commissioned by Camden Council, the new service delivers assertive street outreach combined with a multi-agency hub where vulnerable rough sleepers can access much needed, housing, employment and training support as well as substance misuse treatment, mental and physical health services.

This means that all rough sleepers in Camden now receive a service offer, tailored to their needs which means they no longer have to sleep rough and are able to rebuild their lives away from the street.

RTS also delivers an assertive outreach presence with our community safety partners, ensuring that vulnerable rough sleepers are diverted from harm and access services and that we regain our streets so they are clean and safe for our communities.

Since opening its doors in April the service has supported 144 rough sleepers into accommodation, an increase of 115 for the same period last year. For for the first time since 2010, we are seeing a significant reduction in the number of people sleeping rough in Camden. Since November 2018 for example rough sleeping in Camden has fallen by 60% as more individuals are accessing tailored support available from the integrated RTS service.

Councillor Nadia Shah, Camden Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer Communities said:

As organisations up and down the country mark World Homeless Day, I’m delighted that we are officially opening such a life transforming service. By working together with a range of partners; rough sleepers are able to get the vital support they need to rebuild their lives away from the street.

Our Camden 2025 vision is that that everyone in Camden can access a place they call home with no-one sleeping on our streets. Our ambition is to address the harm and impact caused by rough sleeping and street activity and ensure that all rough sleepers in Camden receive a tailored service offer which means they no longer have to sleep rough.”

Kate Dallas, Camden Services Manager, Change grow, Live said:

“Camden’s innovative Routes off The Streets commissioning strategy has enabled CGL to develop a flexible, holistic model. In turn, we can respond to the complex needs of rough sleepers; not just in terms of accommodation but by giving them the best possible chance of rebuilding their lives and starting to address the traumas which led to them living on the streets. The RTS service provides support which is tailored to the presenting needs of each individual and links them to the services which support their recovery and prevent them returning to the streets.

By integrating the two existing specialist services into a consistent ‘one service’ model, we can ensure that service users can access a comprehensive range of support services. This includes employment and training, advice on benefits, physical health and mental health treatment and intensive support to re-connect individuals with services in their home area.

Change Grow Live has extensive experience delivering effective street outreach services in the borough. We see the enormous value in visible recovery and lived experience and for example a quarter of our staff have personally experienced substance misuse and/or homelessness in their lives. This provides us with the skills and insights to understand and unravel complex issues and build achievable goals for our clients. CGL have established an innovative peer mentor model to instil the belief that sustainable change is possible. It is a real privilege to deliver this pioneering new service.”

How you can help rough sleepers

If you’re worried about a rough sleeper you can use the Camden Safer Streets app or phone 020 7846 3535 to let us know and we will send officers to help.

To download the app or find out more about our work with rough sleepers please visit:

To find out more about homelessness

To find out more about how the Council and its partners support those facing homelessness please visit:

Camden’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy

Camden recently published its new Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy, which builds on what we know from experience has worked well in our previous approach; our new strategy, aligning with our Camden 2025 vision for the borough, robustly addresses the prevention of homelessness and will help rough sleepers find a sustainable way off the streets, addressing one of the most visible occurrences of inequality in the borough.