Reduction in number of rough sleepers

Reduction in number of rough sleepers

The number of rough sleepers in Wigan Borough has halved in the last year, official figures show.

Wigan Council have welcomed the figures released by government and said they reflect the huge amount of work that has been done locally to tackle rough sleeping.

There are currently 15 people recorded as rough sleepers in the borough compared to 30 in 2017 and 27 in 2016.

In the borough there are now two hubs offering overnight accommodation to rough sleepers and extra beds available through A Bed Every Night scheme which was launched by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham last year.

Alongside this a whole range of measures and initiatives have been put in place to help tackle rough sleeping.

Councillor Terry Halliwell, cabinet member for welfare and reform at Wigan Council, said: “Tackling homelessness is more than just offering a bed for the night. It’s about supporting people from the moment they walk through the door, understanding their circumstances and helping them to rebuild their lives.

“We are unique in our offer of two overnight accommodation facilities in Wigan and Leigh. By supporting people in this way we can prevent them reaching crisis point in the future.

“We have made significant investments to help support homeless services and will continue to work with providers to deliver a cohesive approach so services can work together to better understand people’s needs.

“These new figures reflect the huge amount of work that has been put in to improving these services across the borough.

“We also are delighted to be working with partners such as The Brick to deliver these brilliant initiatives and to help people get their lives back on track.”

The council is also working with Real Change to provide grants for around a dozen people a month through local charities. Through the Real Change campaign residents can donate to help buy essential items for people in need. By working with partner charities such as The Brick it means people can be confident their donation is going toward things that count for people who have long term support and can make the most of it.

The council’s homelessness champion programme is also running which sees trained volunteers checking in with people on the streets on a daily basis to gain understanding surrounding people’s circumstances and to offer appropriate support.

The national rough sleeper count takes place every year on one night in November, with local authorities up and down the country submitting data to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Figures are independently verified and the MHCLG subsequently publishes nationwide data early the following year.

Since the start of November the Mayor’s A Bed Every Night campaign has helped 1,236 people into safe, warm and supported accommodation. It is the basis of a commitment to provide a bed for every rough sleeper in Greater Manchester who wants and needs one every night of this winter regardless of weather or temperatures.

If you see a homeless person on the streets, please email roughsleep@wigan.gov.uk with as much information as possible (including their location) and our officers will investigate. You will also receive an update on the situation if you provide your contact details.

Those who find themselves on the streets can also ring our out of hours service on: 01942 828777

Posted on Thursday 7th February 2019
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