Monday, 18 October 2010

End rough sleeping by 2012. Is this realistic?

The government (London Delivery Board) have stuck to its plan of ending rough sleeping in London by 2012. It initially began by targeting entrenched rough sleepers and is now planning to open something called The Hub. Which would seem to act as a short stay hostel for rough sleepers (three nights max). See Inside Housing link for further details.Click Here

 If we consider the many ways in which people become homeless and the issues they face, as well as the lack of accommodation, is this a realistic plan? For many outreach workers it can be almost impossible to get access to accommodation at short notice. Although I understand the importance of reducing the length of time people are on the streets, additional resources need to be provided by the Government to enable outreach workers to tackle this issue head on. At the moment I don’t see any commitment from the government to provide additional resources.
 I wonder if the sceptics are right when they say that this commitment to reduce homelessness to near zero is an excuse to tidy up London before the 2012 Olympics and less about the social injustice of people falling through the net and having to live on the streets until help finds them.


  1. In my honest opinion then unfortunately not, i think a lot of these charities/organisations are seriously misguided and blind to some of the realities of the homeless situation. The date or plan they put down on paper just looks good on paper, it wont happen. If anything i would say the number of homeless people in this country is going to increase for a fair time and maybe level in about a years time or more, but this goal did not take into account in anyway the knowledge of having a new government in power. With the change of system politics there is always a backlog that they have to get through. I could go on about this in a lot more detail but will give someone else a chance. Homeless Bob

  2. I am confused by the whole thing. Grant Shapps wants to ascertain the real number of homeless people in this country. So with an even higher number of homeless people, we are now hoping to bring this down to near zero as possible in two years max. Homelessness has been such a difficult social issue for so long surely we would have solved it by now if there was an answer. I also doubt that this economic climate helps the situation.
    I can't help thinking that if all fails, the government will make it illegal to sleep on the streets. This way they can push the issue out of sight and deal with it on the sly.

  3. Additional resources to do what though? What exactly are you calling for? More bed spaces, or something more than that?

  4. Additional resources would be, more rolling shelters and night shelters, generally more emergency accommodation, all year round and not just in winter.
    Also, more support for people dealing with benefit problems. I once worked in Southwark where there was an advisor who would attend hostels and day centres, giving advice and helping clients directly. These are the kind of things we need.

  5. Good idea the benefit advice,how many back on streets because benefit claim messed up by hostel workers,claim late being processed,service charge not being paid at hostel by client,because of this,and then evicted
    homeless bob

  6. hi outreach worker..belive your comments about more of this and more of that..very "biased" without any evidence to back your about being more effective with the resourses you have,less meetings,less backslapping,and work smarter..
    homeless bob carlisle ( bullring)

  7. It's a shame that some readers believe this site to be biased. The comments I make are genuinely from experience as an outreach worker. I am a front line worker and do not attend meetings. There is no back slapping, if I have assessed four people in one day, but there are no beds to be found for any of them, I always feel that I wish more could be done, especially when I know they will have to spend another night out.
    Although I appreciate all comments on this site, I feel it is unfair to continually berate outreach workers and staff. Quite often there are very few resources ( in more rural towns and cities) available or there are several outreach teams needing the same resources (as in London). The comments I make are suggestions which I feel would make getting people in faster and more effectively. As with any service there are always improvements that can be made. One of the aims of this site is to bring people together to share their experience and knowledge so we can learn from it and hopefully improve the way we all work.
    So, Homeless Bob Carlisle (Bullring), what helped you to come off the streets? Was it just the opportunity of a bed in a hostel or was it more?

  8. hi..okay agree its not all bad,and things have changed for the better if you are by yourself on the streets,but as you well know,and have commented,there is a dire lack of spaces,should you be on the streets with a partner,and yes i was in past on streets with a partner,and try as we may could not get anywhere to stay using the outreach workers route,some were very understanding about this,and knew we had a problem being together,and staying together,and in the end,how did it get sorted,through a cold weather shelter programme..nominated partner gets accomodation,other does not exist,partner moves into accomodation,other moves in ,hands up i exist...only way resettlement team could help solve this get into shelter in first instance,daycentre workers verifys we rough sleepers,and yes this was some years ago,and we are still together,and experiance of this created a very strong bond..We both work during the day,and see at times homeless couples,and comment to each other at home ( not the orginal place/home)why is this still going on,why hasnt it be recognised,
    let me end with this..
    Not ex homeless,,better to say
    A member of the general public,with experiance of homelessness
    regards bob..
    ps you notice i drop homeless title
    so now must be ex homeless bob