Rapid reaction team to help people sleeping on the streets in York

A rough sleeper in King's Square, York. Photograph: YorkMix

Nearly £400,000 extra funding will be put towards support for people sleeping rough in York – City of York Council has announced.

The boost includes £139,000 for a specialist team – called Rough Sleeper Navigators – who “react rapidly” to reports of rough sleepers.

And £253,000 for the Rough Sleeping Initiative to try to offer tailored help – such as mental health support, drug and alcohol problems, relationship breakdowns or hardship.

The announcement comes after news that eight homeless people died in York in 2018 – and 11 died in 2017.

A person’s life expectancy drops from 83 to 47 years if they live on the streets.

Complex needs

Photograph: Jonathan Rados / Unsplash
Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for housing, said: “We are doing everything we can to develop new ways of getting people in off the streets and this is a welcome addition to our continuing work to prevent homelessness in the first place and to help more people out of rough sleeping.”

She added:

  • It also complements the additional resource we invested in extending the Housing First model.

    This provides high levels of support to help people with complex needs such as substance abuse and mental ill health to live independently and to avoid them ending up back on the street.

    We have also provided more 24/7 supported housing which is actually what some people need. The council invested £130,000 in July in developing this new programme, working with health service partners.

Cllr Michael Pavlovic from York Labour group said: “We welcome the additional funding and we feel the housing navigator roles are a very positive addition.”

Anyone who sees someone sleeping rough can call Street Link on 0300 5000 914 and officers will be sent out to offer help.