Carried out by the MBC Homelessness Prevention Support Service (HPSS) in the early hours of yesterday morning (Thursday 24 November), the street count is a statutory requirement and was verified by an independent Officer from Homeless Link.
Year on year the Council works with and supports individuals to find and live in their own accommodation. The proactive work that the HPSS Team does has helped reduce rough sleeping by over 90% in Maidstone over the past four years. The positive approach has seen a reduction in the negative impact and other associated issues with street homelessness which has been recognised by partner agencies, including the police.
Lead Cabinet Member for Housing and Health for Maidstone Borough Council, Cllr Simon Webb said:
“The MBC HPSS Team works hard to ensure that no one needs to be living on our streets and the result of this year’s annual count reflects the work they do. They support to help rough sleepers and has managed to help many rebuild their lives.”
Some people may have complex issues and need a variety of services to help them lead healthier, happier lives. MBC supports them to access benefits or employment, GP’s and healthcare, treatment and support for substance misuse and access to mental health services. The Council also provides them with basic life skills, such as budgeting, cooking and other skills to prepare them to live independently.
The Council’s Outreach, Housing, Health and Accommodation Teams along with partner organisations - including community health services, are now based at MBC’s Trinity Community Hub providing support, advice, well-being treatments and therapies. There is also onsite management and an overnight concierge service in place at the hub.
One of MBC’s priorities is Homes and Communities and the work of the Homelessness Prevention Support Service reflects that.
If anyone should find a rough sleeper please email the MBC Homelessness Prevention Support Service at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or use the national website: www.streetlink.org.uk who will pass the details the details on to the local team.