When you see someone rough sleeping, it's natural to wonder why nothing has been done to help them. If they just need some money and a roof over their heads, why haven't the authorities provided it?
Rough sleeping is a rising local and national problem – in fact it's now a national crisis - and when you see more people appearing on the streets, you naturally think that the Council and authorities aren’t helping. But this is far from the truth.
In an area the size of Southend, it would be very unusual to meet a rough sleeper who we are not aware of, or have not had contact with.
WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?
Working together and sharing information daily between the council, police, local charities and other agencies, we have an understanding of each individual's background and needs - and we are working hard together to try to get them off the streets and into housing and accessing the support they need.
The council work to prevent hundreds of people and families becoming homeless in the first place. They liaise with landlords, mediate with family members, provide temporary accommodation, assist people in to supported housing, source properties and provide loans to help people move in to settled accommodation.
THE COUNCIL PROVIDE FUNDING TO A NUMBER OF LOCAL SERVICES, SUCH AS:
HARP provides day and night shelter facilities.
PEABODY SOUTH EAST assertive outreach team which engages directly with rough sleepers on the street.
CHURCH WINTER NIGHT SHELTER programme, which gives rough sleepers somewhere warm to sleep in the winter months and links them with permanent accommodation and support.
A HOSTEL for individuals with drug/alcohol/mental health issues who are unable to access any other form of housing.
SOUTHEND TREATMENT AND RECOVERY SERVICE (STARS), who provide services for individuals with drug/alcohol addictions.
THE STOREHOUSE who offer a variety of support, including food banks, and advice.