Rough sleepers come in from the cold for good

Tuesday 4 December 2018

 

As the temperature falls, so has the number of rough sleepers in central Milton Keynes, thanks to the council’s homelessness prevention schemes.

  • Since April 2018, 87 rough sleepers have been helped to come off the streets for good into accommodation and support programmes
  • Of these:
    • 77 entrenched rough sleepers are being supported by the Housing First scheme where secure accommodation and intensive support is provided
    • 10 rough sleepers are in emergency accommodation where  they are being given help to find settled accommodation
  • We’ve invested additional funding into tackling homelessness – spending over £800,000* this year
  • We’ve extended our rough sleeper outreach services
  • We now have a dedicated reconnections officer who helps rough sleepers arriving from other areas establish links with their home authority and any friends and family that might be able to help them. There are funds available to make these arrangements where needed.
  • We are working to secure more temporary accommodation through our Secure Lets programme
  • Our outreach and other teams are continuing to work with rough sleepers who remain on the streets despite engagement, to ensure sites they are occupying are safe and clean and do not pose any hazard to themselves or other MK residents
  • We’re offering more protection to people remaining on the streets by initiating our SWEP protocol (where emergency accommodation is provided when the temperature is forecast to dip below zero for multiple days) based on the ‘feels like’ temperature** rather than the just the air temperature (most authorities use air temperature)

 

Leader of the Council, Pete Marland said: “What can be clearly seen from these figures and initiatives is the fantastic progress that has been made on the council’s commitment to ending homelessness in MK. Our officers are working tirelessly to help as many people as possible and to keep vulnerable people safe all year round.

“Our focus continues to be the help and support of rough sleepers to stay off the streets whilst providing all of the residents of Milton Keynes with the best possible place to live.”

 

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Notes to Editors

 

* this figure is made up of allocated budget, externally awarded funding through bids and proportions of funding awarded across multiple local authorities

 

** from the met office - A ‘feels like temperature is calculated by taking into account the expected air temperature, relative humidity and the strength of the wind at around 5 feet (the typical height of an human face) combined with an understanding of how heat is lost from the human body during cold and windy days.