SPEAR verified 105 new rough sleepers between April and Dec 2016, which is approximately the same as in the same period in the previous year. More of these rough sleepers were locally connected to Richmond this year, compared to the same period in the previous year. 66 of this group were resettled into accommodation by SPEAR, during this period.
95% Maintained their Accommodation
Approximately 95% of those resettled into accommodation and supported by SPEAR successfully maintain their accommodation.
14 Engaging with SPEAR to Move off the Street
At the end of January 2017, there were 14 rough sleepers who are currently engaging with SPEAR’s support to move off the street, who are waiting for an accommodation option to become available.
Complex Health and Social Care needs
One of SPEAR’s key priorities is to support rough sleepers into accommodation as quickly as possible. This is becoming more challenging each year because more rough sleepers, (and ex-rough sleepers living in SPEAR supported housing) have complex health and social care needs.
Providing Tenancy and Specialist Support
Another reason is that it is becoming harder to recruit private landlords who will accept referrals from SPEAR, as private landlords are increasingly avoiding tenants who are claiming housing benefit.
To address this issue we have submitting bids for new funding from a range of sources and recent successes will enable us to do the following in the year ahead
- Provide ongoing tenancy sustainment support to ex-rough sleepers who we resettle out of Richmond into private rented sector accommodation
- Set up a new 4 bed supported living scheme for ex-rough sleepers in Richmond
- Provide additional specialist support to clients with physical and mental health needs, including addictions.
20 Accessing Wider Support
At the end of January 2017, there were over 20 rough sleepers who are not engaging with SPEAR’s support to move off the streets, although all of these rough sleepers do engage with wider support from SPEAR. Around a third of this group have an active addiction, and a third are long term entrenched rough sleepers. About half of this group have a local connection to Richmond, and half have moved into the area.
Severe Weather Emergency Accommodation
During the 2016/17 winter period, SPEAR worked with partners to assist 25 rough sleepers to access temporary accommodated when the weather was at its coldest. Approximately the same number of rough sleepers accessed this severe weather emergency accommodation in the previous year.