We will continue to lead the Rough Sleeper Outreach team in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-Under -Lyme for the next three years.
The contract has been commissioned and renewed from October 1 by Stoke-on-Trent City Council in partnership with Newcastleunder-Lyme Borough Council. This means the team will continue to operate 365 days-a-year to help people move away from the streets and reduce homelessness across the area.
Shifts operate from early morning and the team works with other support services throughout the day. People found to be rough sleeping are supported to manage issues surrounding mental health, addiction, complex needs, and to build the confidence to manage a tenancy.
Between April 2019 and March 2020, the team found accommodation for people on 223 occasions, drastically reducing the number of people who might have spent multiple nights sleeping rough. They also helped a further 67 people to register for both a dentist and GP.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Brighter Futures staff worked with council teams across both local authority areas and hotels to help people access support as part of the government’s ‘everybody in’ scheme. This has seen them access a range of local support services for both their mental and physical health and to move them off the streets permanently in the months afterwards.
Helena Evans, Chief Executive of Brighter Futures, says: “The Rough Sleeper Team helps people to move away from the streets 365 days-a-year. It’s something we’re pleased to lead, and we work hard to come up with innovative solutions for people. We are looking forward to continuing to work with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to deliver this essential work to support some of the most vulnerable people in our city.
“Brighter Futures is always looking at different ways to improve what we do and how we support people better. This is vital if we are to carry on getting the amazing results we have.
“We also know that having a roof over someone’s head isn’t the end of their journey. It is a start, but we work closely with our partners and find opportunities for people where other approaches haven’t worked for them. This is key to helping people live fulfilled lives.”
Councillor Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “We are looking forward to continuing working closely with Brighter Futures and the Rough Sleeper Outreach team over the next three years to reduce homelessness in the city.
“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of hard work has taken place with partners to support homeless people off the streets and give them access to a range of support to help them move on with their lives. We know that people who find themselves homeless often have other complex issues that also need addressing, and the team at Brighter Futures have a wealth of experience in helping people access support that meets their individual needs.”
Cllr. Helena Maxfield, Cabinet member for community safety and well-being for Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “Homelessness is a very complex issue that can’t be solved by the Council alone which is why we’re working hard to create an even stronger network of partnerships and services to help people when they need it most.
“We’ve had significant success in preventing homelessness in Newcastle-under-Lyme in recent years – rough sleeping being the most extreme form. The excellent outreach service provided by Brighter Futures has played a key role in helping people get off the streets, particularly during the recent challenging times, by offering advice and guidance on accommodation options and support services.
“We’re delighted that this successful and holistic service is continuing for the next three years. While the number of rough sleepers in the borough is very low, this is still too many and we must do even more to provide appropriate pathways off the streets.”
We also lead on the Rough Sleeper Action Group in Stoke-on-Trent through their Rough Sleeper Coordinator and provide both a Tenancy Support Worker and a Tenancy Sustainment Worker to safeguard against a return to rough sleeping when someone is accommodated. Both roles are also funded by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.