Burton and East Staffordshire Partnership is seeking to raise the general awareness of people about rough sleeping and making sure that everyone can have at their fingertips the information they need to get help to anyone they think might be rough sleeping.
Members of the public don’t have to do it themselves – there are many voluntary and housing organisations in Burton and East Staffordshire who can provide the support needed to the entire rough sleeping population.
Anyone can become a rough sleeper but people have differing levels of ability to escape this kind of life. It is often not just about willpower – multiple disadvantages can accumulate. It is estimated that 58,000 people nationally face problems of homelessness, substance misuse and offending in any one year. Within this group, a majority will have experienced mental health problems including depression and cognitive illnesses.
Evidence has shown that better coordinated interventions from statutory and voluntary agencies can improve people’s lives and reduce the use and cost of crisis services. While some local areas are making progress on better coordinated interventions, others are not. In many local areas, services continue to operate in isolation, people with experience of multiple disadvantage continue to have limited power over the decisions that affect them, and the national policy environment often fails to promote collaborative ways of working.
Burton and East Staffordshire Partnership is taking the first steps to co-ordinate services in the area so that people found to be rough sleeping can get easier access to the what’s available. A new leaflet and a website have been created that anyone can use. There is a lot more to do but at this stage the Partnership is trying to spread awareness among members of the public about existing services so that anyone who would like to get help to any rough sleeper they are concerned about can do so.
The Partnership is running a stall on Friday 20th December in Station Street, Burton to give out leaflets and talk to the public about ways to help rough sleepers access food, health services and housing.