This is great news in our county. Your local councillors put on pressure after residents contacted us &welcome the positive action which continues to reduce the number of rough sleepers & help those who find themselves struggling.
Council press release:
The number of people sleeping rough on the streets in County Durham has fallen following targeted action by Durham County Council and charities. Figures for 2013 show an average of three a night compared to 11 the previous year. This is in line with the North East region which has seen a 69 per cent reduction, from 69 to 12, for the same period. It bucks the national trend which reveals a 5 per cent increase.
A “No Second Night Out” approach by the county council and the voluntary sector ensures that all agencies know who is on the street and look to resolve their needs within 24 hours. Andrew Burnip, from housing solutions, Durham County Council, is chair of the Regional Homelessness Group, including all 12 regional authorities. He said: “This approach has meant that in many areas of the North East we have been able to find people sooner and offer them a route into proper shelter. In many cases this is a pathway which could ultimately lead them to their own independent home. We also now know much more about who is on the street and how best to help them.”
Lindsay Henderson, regional manager for Homeless Link, a national charity which represents and supports organisations working with homeless people, said: “The tremendous efforts of local authorities and homeless organisations across the North East means we have been able to reduce the number of people staying on the streets. We have begun to reduce the number of rough sleepers as we are able to find long term solutions which stop people returning to or staying on the streets.”
If anyone sees a person rough sleeping they should ring the National Street Link Line on 0300 500 0914, or the website www.streetlink.org.uk. Street Link will then contact local services to locate and support the person rough sleeping to get them off the streets and into accommodation and support.