Assistance for rough sleepers is tailored to meet the needs and issues of each individual. Those needs can sometimes be quite complex, ranging from substance misuse issues, mental and physical health concerns to financial and employment difficulties.
Fareham Borough Council is part of Fareham Street Aid which is a platform for agencies in Fareham working together to help vulnerable people off the streets.
The key agencies involved in Fareham Street Aid are Fareham Borough Council, Fareham's Community Safety Partnership, Fareham Housing, Two Saints Hostel, Hampshire Constabulary, One Community and Inclusion Recovery Hampshire and there are also a number of support agencies such as One Community, Hampshire County Council and Acts of Kindness. All those involved share information and work together to help rough sleepers.
Fareham Street Aid's key message is that it is better to give to the charities that support rough sleepers, and have staff specifically trained to help them, rather than giving direct.
The Council works closely with Two Saints , a Charity that provides temporary accommodation to support and assist single homeless people. There is an Outreach worker who supports those sleeping rough.
The hostel is more than a bed for the night. Homeless people are able to shower in the mornings, do their laundry and have tea or coffee and toast. They are also given vouchers to have refreshments in the afternoons at Café Imbizu on West Street.
Fareham and Gosport Adult Mental Health provide a range of community-based mental health services for people who need support for their mental health issues.
Inclusion Recovery Fareham is based at Fareham Health Centre and provides support and treatment to anyone impacted by their own or someone else's drug or alcohol use.
On 11 July a Rough Sleepers Conference was chaired by Cllr Woodward and attended by many of the agencies involved in their care. The aims of the conference were to:
The agencies who attended included:
More information can be found in the Conference Notes (243 KB).
Our experience with some rough sleepers is that they need more support to help resolve a range of problems, not just housing. This might include for example helping to manage debt, mental health conditions, anger management, domestic abuse support, substance misuse or low self-esteem. Help with writing cvs is also available for those who want it.
Taking someone from sleeping rough straight into a self-contained tenancy with little support has a considerable risk of failure. To combat this the Council and Two Saints work together to provide a staged and supportive journey towards independent, sustainable accommodation.
There are also occasions when people are offered help and accommodation that they turn down; it is simply not the case that insufficient funds or resources are exacerbating the problem.
The Council has committed £364,000 for the current financial year to provide assistance for the homeless or for those threatened with homelessness.
The Council has recently provided additional funding to increase the bed space available at the hostel – a scheme referred to as Extended Winter Provision. This is part of the council response to providing additional help during periods of extreme, often cold weather. If this extended winter provision does not meet the needs of those sleeping rough, the council will make other provision available to ensure no-one needs to sleep out in extreme conditions.
These relief and prevention activities are wide-ranging and as detailed above, are tailored to the specific needs of the individual.
If you would like to offer support such as money, food, sleeping bags, etc, we would encourage you to donate to one of the local charities who are working with rough sleepers. Please note only single duvets can be donated and they must be clean.
One Community has a shop in Fareham Shopping Centre and, by arrangement, is able to accept donations given for rough sleepers and then ensure they are passed on to those who need them. They work closely with Acts of Kindness (one of the Mayor's Charities for 2018/19) which has its office above One Community's shop. Acts of Kindness has a separate storage facility which holds clothes, toiletries, bedding and sleeping bags. The organisation supplies Two Saints directly with any items they need, as well as other organisations that support rough sleepers such as Step by Step and Alabare.
Important: Please contact One Community, or Acts of Kindness using the details below before taking any items in to the shop to ensure they have sufficient storage space available.
Facebook Acts of Kindness Community (Solent)
A special Community Action Team meeting will also be taking place on Tuesday 15 October in the Solent Room at Ferneham Hall from 6-7.30pm. More information about this meeting can be found in the latest press release. Notes from our other public meeting which was held on Wednesday 7 June can be found on our Community Action Team webpage.
For more information about our Community Action Team meetings, please contact the Consultation and Engagement team on 01329 824409, alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.