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No Second Night Out Launched in York


7:43am 7th January 2013

Archbishop John Sentamu will launch the city’s response to the government initiative to ‘End Rough Sleeping: No Second Night Out’ today.

The Archbishop recently chaired the Fairness Commission Report in York which identified six key recommendations, including the need to address the city’s housing and accommodation needs to support growth and improve affordability. Of the ten key fairness principles underpinning these recommendations, he found the most relevant is to support and empower the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society.

City of York Council says rough sleeping represents the most extreme form of housing need and can have a devastating long-term impact on a person’s health and well-being. They add that the services dedicated to No Second Night Out, will help agencies in York tackle this issue.

City of York Council says the need to provide services for vulnerable people is paramount, especially as rough sleeping is increasing nationally. They add that in 2011, 2,181 people were recorded as sleeping rough on any one night in England and figures due to be released soon are likely to show a further increase in 2012. Rough sleeping in York is relatively low, say City of York Council but the city has still seen a slight increased over the past 12 months (from two a night to eight a night). They add that it is important that services can identify rough sleepers, complete an assessment and respond quickly to help them into accommodation.

The scheme has been developed with the Salvation Army, the Peasholme Charity, Arc Light, City of York Council, the Foundation, YACRO, Restore and Richmond Fellowship.

City of York Council says the aim of No Second Night Out is that:

1. New rough sleepers should be identified and helped off the streets immediately so that they do not fall into a dangerous rough sleeping lifestyle.

2. Members of the public should be able to play an active role by reporting and referring people sleeping rough.

3. Rough sleepers should be helped to access a place of safety where their needs can be quickly assessed and they can receive advice on their options.

4. Rough sleepers should be able to access emergency accommodation and other services, such as healthcare, if needed.

5. If people have come from another area or country and find themselves sleeping rough, the aim should be to reconnect them back to their local community unless there is a good reason why they cannot return. There, they will be able to access housing and recovery services and have support from family and friends.

Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Care said: “Evidence shows that people from all walks of life can end up sleeping on the streets. Rough sleepers in the city need support and advice to make the best decision for their health, wellbeing and security. With reduced funding, we need to pool our resources with partner agencies and invite the public to play their part to ensure no-one must endure a second night out.”

Dave Knowles, Chief Executive of the Peasholme Charity and chair of the No Second Night Out Working Group said: ‘We are delighted that Archbishop John Sentamu has agreed to launch this new initiative. It is important that we continue to work to reduce rough sleeping in York, even more so at a time of economic pressures and high demands for housing.”

The partners and City of York Council are asking the public to help by calling a new helpline if they see a rough sleeper – especially in areas away from the city centre. They add that people can call the national rough sleeper helpline launched by Homeless Link, a national organisation representing and supporting 500 organisations working with homeless people in the UK.

City of York Council says StreetLink enables members of the public to quickly connect rough sleepers to local support services by:

  • telephoning the 24/7 StreetLink phone line 0300 500 0914
  • using the StreetLink website www.streetlink.org.uk from a desktop computer or mobile.
  • downloading the StreetLink App from the iTunes or Google Market store free of charge.

City of York Council says that once contact has been made, in York, StreetLink contacts the Salvation Army’s early intervention and prevention team who provide outreach support to rough sleepers. They add that when identified, the Salvation Army will contact the rough sleeper, offer advice, support and accommodation to those wishing to move off the street.

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