Nottingham City bucking national rough sleeping trend
Rough sleeping may be increasing across the country but Nottingham is bucking the national trend. That’s the view of Framework, after official figures showed they were keeping a lid on the problem.
Official figure released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) this morning showed a national rise on 14% in the numbers of people risking their lives on the streets. In Nottingham the figure remained unchanged – with 9 people sleeping rough on an average night.
Framework, which has been operating a street outreach service in the city since 1997, and helps hundreds of people every year who find themselves sleeping rough. The team brings direct support and solutions to people sleeping rough – identifying what problems they have and in many cases helping them to access Framework accommodation.
Between April 1 and December 31 Framework’s Street Outreach Team found 227 individuals sleeping rough in the city. The vast majority of them were helped very quickly to put an end to their rough sleeping, but 13 per cent of these were found ten times or more, indicating more serious problems for the team to overcome.
Framework Outreach Manager Jason Marriott said: “Whilst nine people sleeping rough is still nine too many, we are working very hard to keep a lid on the problem of rough sleeping in Nottingham, and are very proud of the help we have given to people at a desperate time in their lives. We know that if we were unable to carry on this work the level of rough sleeping in the city would increase significantly, as more people arrived on the streets and fewer people left.
“Rough sleeping is dangerous, isolating and potentially life-threatening. It shocks people so much because it is something they don’t often see. The reason for that is a lot of hard work by numerous organisations; from the City Council, police and health services, to the numerous community, faith and voluntary groups that operate in the city. There is a clear commitment to tackling rough sleeping in Nottingham and I firmly believe it is providing an example for others to follow.”
Members of Framework’s Street Outreach Team respond to local intelligence and visit known rough sleeping sites in the early hours of the morning – the best times for finding people sleeping rough. They also liaise directly with other agencies to identify and help people who are about to sleep rough – often for the first time. The team also works directly with The Queen’s Medical Centre to ensure that homeless people leaving hospital have somewhere safe to go.
If people do see somebody who they think is sleeping rough, the most effective way for them to help is by calling Framework’s Rough Sleepers Hotline 24 hours a day on 0800 066 5356. This resource is also used by rough sleepers themselves to ask for help.
Rough Sleeping in North Notts
Framework has also expressed concern about the numbers of people still sleeping rough in the rest of the county – particularly in the North – and is calling for an urgent dialogue with local authorities to address the issue.