Merseyside Sub-Region "No Second Night Out" Rough Sleeping Protocol
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Interim Director of Corporate Services reported that Liverpool City Region had been given the sum of £120,000 Single Homelessness Grant, in addition to the Homeless Prevention Grant given to each local authority, for the purpose of addressing single homelessness and in particular developing a protocol aimed at ending rough sleeping in the City Region. Research and good practice demonstrated that this was best achieved by focussing on early intervention when a new rough sleeper first appears on the street, as well as by dealing with the long term entrenched rough sleepers who often had more complex issues compounded by their time sleeping rough.
The total number of rough sleepers estimated to be rough sleeping on the streets of the Liverpool city region in any one night of November last year was 13, with a maximum of 3 in any local authority area. Although the numbers of rough sleepers in the city region as recorded by the official “counts” submitted to CLG (Communities and Local Government Department) on an annual basis, were low, it was generally recognised that these numbers under represented the number of people who slept rough in any given period, and any period sleeping rough could have long term negative consequences for the individuals and communities affected.
Systems were now in place, to quickly identify new rough sleepers and bring them indoors before they adapted to the street lifestyle and became entrenched. Adoption of the protocol would enable these systems to be shared out across the Borough, particularly the expansion of the Liverpool rough sleeper outreach service across the city region. This protocol would mean that individuals sleeping rough anywhere in the City Region would be quickly identified and supported to come indoors and not spend a second night sleeping rough.
(1) That Wirral’s participation in the Liverpool City Region “No Second Night Out” protocol be approved, with the vision that, “by the end of 2012, no one will live on the streets of Liverpool City Region and no individual arriving on the streets for the first time will sleep out for more than one night.”
(2) The financial costs of rough sleeping as researched by the Homeless charity Crisis are significant: a single homeless person costs approximately £24,500 a year. These costs include:
- environmental costs of cleaning up and securing rough sleeper sites
- health and substance misuse services
- contact with A&E departments
- involvement with the police and criminal justice system by being both victims and perpetrators of crime
- prolonged unemployment / benefits costs
- failed tenancies
Report author: Interim Director of Corporate Services
Publication date: 28/09/2011
Date of decision: 22/09/2011
Decided at meeting: 22/09/2011 - Cabinet
Effective from: 06/10/2011