Newham Council has taken a significant step toward achieving its ambition to end rough sleeping in the borough.
At a meeting of the Cabinet this week, members heard from September 2018 to March 2021, the number of people sleeping rough in Newham fell from 105 to six (according to official Government figures). This includes a fall of 91 per cent in the single year November 2019 to November 2020 – the highest proportionate improvement in the country. While these are early figures, this achievement has been commended by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
Cabinet voted to continue this work with the award of a contract to deliver a new look integrated homeless service to the charity Change Grow Live (CGL) over the next three years.
Councillor Zulfiqar Ali, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said; “I am immensely proud that Newham, once one of the worst hotspots for rough sleeping in London, has made such a significant improvement.
“Our Homeless Service has achieved all of this by working with partners in government, the Greater London Authority (GLA), and local providers, and I am incredibly proud of the work they have done.
“However we are not complacent, we know as we emerge from the pandemic, the pressure on our residents to keep a roof over their heads will only increase.
“The new contract with CGL will help us prevent homelessness and rough sleeping, support rough sleepers off the streets and prevent people returning to the streets.”
Change Grow Live have significant experience of working Newham having delivered the substance misuse contract for a number of years. They also have rough sleeping experience through delivering the enhanced rough sleeping substance misuse pathway within Newham.
CGL will take the lead in delivering services alongside other local experts in the field including:
· Anchor House – who will focus on accommodation based support, housing management and the setting up of a new £3 million assessment centre at Lady Helen Seymour House in Plaistow
· NewDay who will provide the day service, education, employment and training.
· Praxis will support rough sleepers with immigration status issues
· BounceBack will look to launch a new social enterprise within the borough that supports Rough Sleepers to engage in paid work.
Cllr Ali said; “NewDay and Anchor House are local organisations and this contract recognises the importance of grass roots experts in delivering our ambition to eradicate rough sleeping in Newham. This meets our Community Wealth Building Strategy values, and is aligned with our Towards a Better Newham; Covid Recovery Strategy.
“We have made enormous strides to end rough sleeping over the last two years, and I am confident this new contract, alongside an updated Homeless Strategy, will ensure we do not lose the hard won results we have achieved.”