Round-the clock outreach service for rough sleepers to launch in autumn
A new seven-day-a-week rough sleeping service will launch in Bristol in October.
Bristol Street Outreach will engage with some of the most vulnerable people in the city who are sleeping rough in order to help them access appropriate support services and accommodation.
There will be a continued focus on street engagements, particularly with those who have been sleeping rough for a long time, to help enable them to move off the streets and live independently.
There will also be a more joined up approach, bringing together the key teams under one roof. This will include having a council housing advisor on hand to help people find housing, and rough sleeper navigators who will support people with complex and overlapping needs access services and maintain accommodation when they move off the streets.
The council is investing more than £1.5 million in the service, which will run for an initial three years.
Bristol Street Outreach is part of a range of services commissioned by the council and designed to enable the city to achieve its aim of halving rough sleeping by 2022 and ending rough sleeping in Bristol by 2027.
Councillor Tom Renhard, cabinet member for housing delivery and homes, said: “We have worked tirelessly alongside our partners over the last 15 months to keep people who are sleeping rough safe during the pandemic.
“This has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of people sleeping rough in the city, showing the impact strong partnership approaches can have. However, we know there is still a considerable amount of work to be done to achieve our aim of ending rough sleeping by 2027 at the latest.
“Continued sustainable funding from government, and collaboration across the sector, are key to helping us realise this goal.
“We hope that Street Outreach Bristol will help us to reach out to the most vulnerable people on our streets, and be there for them when they are ready for help.”
The Street Outreach Service replaces the current Rough Sleeper Service, and will be run by homelessness charity St Mungo’s.
David Ingerslev, St Mungo’s regional head for Bristol, said: “We are delighted to build on the hard work of the last 12 years supporting people sleeping rough in Bristol with the announcement that we will be continuing to provide the Street Outreach service for Bristol City Council.
“Our team will continue to work around the clock on the streets of Bristol to build relationships with people who are sleeping rough, supporting them to find the quickest and most appropriate route away from homelessness into long term accommodation.
“We know that this cannot be done in isolation. We will be continuing to work closely with physical and mental health services, drug and alcohol support and other homelessness organisations in the city to make sure that everyone who is on the streets can access the right support package for them, so that they can look to the future and rebuild their lives.”