Rough sleeping and homelessness
Rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness.
People who sleep rough may be seen in shop doorways, in bus shelters, in car parks and in other public places. But often people will sleep rough out of sight, bedding down at different times of the day or night, moving from place to place.
Sleeping rough is dangerous and is seriously detrimental to a person’s physical and mental health. People who sleep rough are 17 times more likely to be victims of violence than the general public.
The average life expectancy of someone sleeping rough is 47 years for men and 43 years for women, and even those people who sleep rough for only a few months are likely to die younger than they would have done if they had never slept rough.
Entrenched rough sleepers are more likely to develop additional physical and mental health needs and substance misuse issues. This can make it a lot harder for them to engage with support services, to leave the streets and to rebuild their lives.
Tackling the issue together
We take rough sleeping very seriously and we work extremely hard with partners all the year round, to tackle, prevent and reduce it.
In Northampton, we have a multi-agency approach to helping people who are sleeping rough. We work together to provide the accommodation and support that they require to meet their needs and prevent them from returning to the streets.
Our aim is to end the need for people to sleep rough in Northampton.
- ‘TOGETHER we change lives’, our multi-agency strategy for tackling rough sleeping, was developed by more than 30 local groups, services and organisations, including charities, faith groups, health professionals, support providers and the police.
All of these groups, services and organisations pledged to work more effectively with one another, deliver a consistent message and actively encourage people who are sleeping rough to engage with housing and support providers and leave the streets.
How we help rough sleepers in Northampton
Compared to many other areas, Northampton offers a significant amount of help and support to people who are sleeping rough or are at risk of sleeping rough.
Wherever possible, we will try to prevent people from becoming homeless; however, if we are unable to prevent homelessness, we will do our best to avoid the need for the person to sleep rough and, if they are already sleeping rough, we will try to help them leave the streets as quickly as possible before they become entrenched.
We provide funding for a wide range of community and voluntary sector organisations that work with homeless people, including Citizens Advice, the Community Law Service, the Street Pastors, NAASH, Bridge and the Hope Centre.
As well as funding other organisations, we fund and manage:
- We fund and manage Street Outreach Workers
- How you can tell us about people sleeping rough
- Our Reconnection Service
- Contact a Single Homelessness Adviser
- Information on Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP)
- The Northampton’s Annual Rough Sleepers Count
- Managemetn of the Clearance of unsafe and abandoned sites