Nottinghamshire homeless prevention service collapse

Zardoz Greek zardos777 at
Wed Mar 30 20:27:22 BST 2016

Homelessness increase warning as service closes
12:48pm Wed Mar 30, 2016
There could be a sharp rise in homelessness following the closure of a charity’s prevention service, its chief executive has warned.
Framework’s Mr Andrew Redfern made the claim as Nottinghamshire County Council funding for the countywide service, which has run since 2002, ends on Thursday.

The service helped people at risk of falling into homelessness by offering practical help, including financial management and employment opportunities.

Russell House, a 15-bed hostel on London Road run by Framework, will be not be affected by the changes.

'There will be consequences'

Mr Redfern said: “Over the next two to three years, we are going to see a significant increase in rough sleeping and homelessness.

“To tackle homelessness you need prevention services. Our service was seeing five times as many people as the hostels we run. A lot of those people will fall into homelessness.

“There will be consequences, but that will fall to health services and district councils.”

District and borough councils in Nottinghamshire, and clinical commissioning groups, had been discussing the possibility of contributing funding to maintain the service. However, those efforts failed.

'A very dangerous, scary and life-changing experience'

Mr Redfern stressed that Newark and Sherwood District Council, which has a legal duty to help people who are homeless, was among the most proactive in trying to find a solution.

He said: “Rough sleeping is very dangerous, scary and a life-changing experience.

“There will be a lot of expectation on us to deal with a problem that we haven’t got the resources to deal with. It will impact on us, as it will with other agencies.

“I assume that the government thinks district councils will manage it.

“If the number of presentations (of homeless people) increases by 20-30%, we will not be able to cope with that. There is no space to house people.”

'Appropriate advice and support'

Leanne Monger, Newark and Sherwood District Council’s housing business manager said: “We have been working alongside our Framework colleagues to ensure those currently affected by this service closure are offered appropriate advice and support.”

She said the council would continue to work with the county council, district and borough councils, and health and probation workers “to understand and determine how local pathways can be re-designed, to ensure services provided by the council and partner organisations avoid duplication and complement one another to prevent households facing homelessness.”

Mr David Pearson, corporate director for adult social care and health at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The council is continuing to allocate almost £1m to Framework from this April to support services in four quick-access homeless hostels across the county.

“The council has had to prioritise our statutory services over discretionary services such as homeless support services.

“District and borough councils have the legal responsibility for homelessness and are working with us and Framework to identify alternative sources of support for affected service users.”

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