The Rough Sleeper Partnership
The Rough Sleeper Partnership (RSP) operates across four local authority areas: Bedford, Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. Partners delivering the service include SMART (Bedford), King’s Arm’s Project (Bedfordshire), Signposts (Luton) and Open Door MK (Milton Keynes).
The RSP team provides a combination of Outreach Working (engaging rough sleepers in the community) and Assessment Hubs where people can go to access help and support.
Clear goals to support rough sleepers
The project has two main aims:
1 – To reduce the current levels of rough sleeping across the area
2 – To prevent those at risk of becoming homeless from actually becoming homeless
Working in partnership to achieve better results
Working with existing services and partners the RSP actively identify, engage and effectively provide much needed assistance to those most vulnerable on the streets, sleeping rough and homeless.
The service was been set up following a successful bid by Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Luton Borough Council and Milton Keynes Borough Council for grant funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government. The funding received from this grant was for two years, with the project coming to an end in May 2019.
Referrals for this project are welcomed from:
- Rough sleepers in Bedford
- Members of the public
- Healthcare providers
- Statutory services
If members of the public are concerned about anyone sleeping rough, they can contact the national 24 hour rough sleeping referral line StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or online at www.streetlink.org.uk
Words of support…
Mayor of Bedford Borough Dave Hodgson – “Homelessness is a national crisis and in Bedford we are tackling the problem head-on. This is the latest in a string of work the Council has done as part of our commitment to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping, including the new Complex Needs Unit which is set to open later this year providing specialist accommodation and support for some of the most vulnerable.”
Councillor Tom Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Luton Borough Council – “Luton Council is committed to reducing homelessness in the town and we are pleased to be working with other authorities across the region to address homelessness and, equally importantly, the factors that can lead to people moving onto the streets.”
Councillor Carole Hegley, Executive Member for Social Care & Housing at Central Bedfordshire Council – “We understand that homelessness can happen to anyone at any stage in their life and at times through no fault of their own. We want to ensure that we are doing all we can to help people back on their feet. And with the new mobile assessment hub launching and operating across the whole of Central Bedfordshire and nearby regions it will provide the best possible support for those sleeping rough to access the services they need and move away from the streets.”
Councillor Nigel Long, Portfolio Holder for Adult Care and Housing at Milton Keynes Council – “Tackling homelessness in Milton Keynes, in all its forms, is a fundamental priority for our council. Having a specialist team here and across the region will help us to help those most in need, and help those at risk of losing their home, before they reach the streets. This is a great example of councils working together to fund the right kind of help, exactly where and when it is needed the most.”
Can you spare a few pennies to support the good work of the RSP team? Donate today.