The Labour led Exeter City Council has made significant progress in reducing the number of people rough sleeping in Exeter over the past five months.
Most people are lucky enough to have never experienced homelessness. But for those who do, it can be a traumatic experience that damages both physical and emotional wellbeing. Not having a consistent, safe home adversely affects all areas of their lives, from health, to achievement at school and the ability to get work and to keep a job. The more complex needs someone has, the more help they will need to move on from homelessness and rebuild their lives.
The barriers individuals face in seeking to move on from rough sleeping are unique to each person and Exeter City Council works with a wide range of partners from different sectors to work to work with people on an individual basis to seek solutions and support people to move forward.
In early November 2020 an estimated 37 people were sleeping rough on the streets of Exeter. By the end of March this year only 4 of the 37 were still on the streets, and all with offers of assistance. The Council outreach team continue to maintain contact with those still on the streets and to try to find a solution.
Some recent successes include:
- 19 additional rough sleepers accommodated under Winter Provision Placements.
- People being brought in under the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).
- Low numbers of rough sleepers has enabled more intense work with rough sleepers who are more locked into the it often with more complex needs.
- Clients with inconsistent housing history are managing a temporary accommodation tenancy.
More information about of rough sleepers in need of help are being received thanks to the public being aware of rough sleepers, and of the ‘Steetlink’ route for notification.
Our city council has been successful in securing additional Government funding for supporting our work with rough sleepers over the winter months. This will enable the following:-
- Purchase of 4 emergency shelter pods
- Additional emergency accommodation for new rough sleepers
- Individual budgets to include travel, food vouchers, winter clothing for rough sleepers placed in hotels
- Additional support workers linked to the Outreach Team to provide ongoing support for rough sleepers accommodated in hotel placements.
More information about how to help Exeter’s Rough Sleepers May be found at the link below:
If you see someone sleeping rough who needs help, please contact Streetlink – www.streetlink.org.uk
Or call the Outreach Team on 01392 284287 or 01392 277888.