Need for longer-term accommodation for rough sleepers in St Albans

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First published in News by

A need for longer-term accommodation for rough sleepers has been highlighted by St Albans City and District Council.

The council met last week to discuss recommendations for the provision of long-term accommodation and appropriate help for rough sleepers.

Councillors at the meeting heard the results of the council’s cross-party Rough Sleeper Task and Finish Group review.

Overall, the group was satisfied with the support given to rough sleepers by the council and other stakeholders in the district. 

Stakeholders include night shelter Open Door, where rough sleepers can stay for up to 28 days, and Centre 33, a drop-in centre for the homeless and socially disadvantaged.

The group identified a need for longer-term accommodation for rough sleepers and a multi-agency approach to help people make a change in their lifestyle.

Councillor Brian Ellis, portfolio holder for housing at St Albans City and District Council, said: "The council works with a number of agencies, including Open Door and homeless drop-in centre Centre 33 to provide support to rough sleepers in the District.

"These agencies do a brilliant job, but there are still areas where we can work together to improve the support given to rough sleepers. In June, there were 11 rough sleepers in the district, five of whom were using the Open Door night shelter. 

"We are working with agencies to find suitable long-stay accommodation for rough sleepers to move on to. We are also working to ensure the right level of help is available to rough sleepers."

Councillor Anthony Rowlands, chair of the local services scrutiny committee on behalf of the Rough Sleeper Task and Finish Group, said: "I am grateful for the work of the Task and Finish Group members who each made a valuable contribution to the review of support for rough sleepers. It is the responsibility of the local services scrutiny committee to look at all public services across the city and district. 

"We will be monitoring the implementation of the Rough Sleeper Task and Finish Group’s recommendations that have come out of this important review."

 

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