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Homelessness Review 2021

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6. Rough Sleeping

6.1 Background

For the past five years, we have been committed to offering accommodation and support to anyone who we confirm is rough sleeping in Teignbridge and who has a local connection to the district. This offer is made regardless of whether we have a statutory duty to do so under the Homelessness Reduction Act. Our Rough Sleeper Team respond to intelligence provided by members of the public, Teignbridge Council colleagues or partner agencies such as local policing teams by conducting outreach visits in order to verify the reports we receive. People who are found to be rough sleeping but do not have a local connection to Teignbridge are offered reconnection to the area with which they do hold a local connection.

We provide a range of accommodation options, including our Housing First Project which compromises of 11 one bedroomed properties. Support is provided by our Rough Sleeper Navigator, and support workers from Sanctuary Supported Living.

Each year in the autumn, we conduct an official rough sleeper count, undertaken with a representative from Homeless Link, a national membership charity working directly with people who become homeless in England. Community and voluntary sector agency representatives and local police officers also help us to conduct the count, and the findings are reported to central Government.

6.2 Rough Sleeper Snapshot Figures

Despite the overall rise in demand for homelessness services and temporary accommodation placements over the last four years, we can be proud that we have not seen a correlating increase in the most acute form of homelessness, rough sleeping. The graph below shows the annual rough sleeper count figures in Teignbridge since 2016, including the most recent figure from our official count conducted in November 2021.

Rough Sleeper Count Figure 2016/17 3, 2017/18 3, 2018/19 7, 2019/20 5, 2020/21 6, 2021/22 5.

6.3 Key interventions to address Rough Sleeping

Maintaining relatively low rough sleeping numbers has been the product of intensive outreach work on the part of our Rough Sleeper Team, combined with the targeting of resources and collaborative partnership working. In addition to fulfilling our commitment to provide accommodation and support to all verified rough sleepers who have a local connection to Teignbridge, we have also:

  • Provided increased staffing resource to the Rough Sleeper Team, which now has 3.5 full time equivalent officers, through the Rough Sleeper Intervention funding stream.
  • Expanded our Housing First project to 11 one bedroom self-contained properties.
  • Expanded our provision of leased one bedroom transitional ‘crash pad’ accommodation which can be accessed by the Rough Sleeper Team for those former rough sleepers who do not require the intensive level of support provided in our Housing First Project.
  • Established a Multi-Disciplinary Team, led by our Rough Sleeper Coordinator and made up of representatives from key statutory agencies such as Probation, The Police, Adult Social Care, and Mental Health Services, together with community and voluntary sector representatives.