Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Will the results of the latest street counts help to identify important services which should be protected from government funding cuts?

It seems that although some local authorities undertook street counts and others made estimates, the results from last years rough sleeper counts have been worthwhile.
A recent Homeless Link document (Rethink cuts-call to local authorities with high levels of rough sleepers) states that the results show both regional differences in homeless numbers and a connection between the recorded numbers and the current economic performance of a region. It highlights "rough sleeping in rural agricultural areas where the economic downturn has left Central and Eastern Europeans workers destitute when work contracts have run out" also areas such as  "Kensington and Chelsea, which is another authority planning substantial cuts, reported its highest number of rough sleepers since data has been collected". It explains that by using estimates as well as actual counts areas can highlight the need for more government funding in order to deal with homelessness issues.
Homeless Link suggest that cuts to funding would seriously undermine progress already achieved, stating that "A time of budget cuts should be a time to focus resources on the most vulnerable people, not a time to cut away the lifeline services and those enabling them to rebuild their lives.”

Will these new results help to stream line services and assist others to prove that the work they are already doing is vital to the success of ending homelessness?

1 comment:

  1. We expect the cuts to create a greater need for our services and at the same time reduce the resources we get to meet the increased need. It is the same for all our related agencies-health, affordable housing, education etc. The legacy of the 80s and early 90s was cleaned up and paid for buy the taxpayer for the last 15 years, but in the process new problems have arisen. THe likelihood is that the latest cuts will fail drastically on some areas, but work with the concensus overall, and the government has already shown it can be persuaded to drop some of its more hare brained schemes, so we may as well help them get on with it, and demonstrate our case as a stabilising influence after the cuts take effect.