16 August 2012
Update - Sept - read our blog on preventing homelessness
St Mungo's welcomes today's report from the Government's Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness and urges local authorities to rise to the challenges it sets.
The report, Making Every Contact Count, outlines a series of commitments from across Government departments to preventing homelessness, including improving people's health, tackling troubled childhoods and reducing involvement in crime.
Charles Fraser, St Mungo's Chief Executive, said: "We welcome the Group's focused commitments and the report's encouragement to local authorities to act. Councils now have a clear challenge to put preventing homelessness high on their agendas. With the mesh in the safety net ever widening, making every contact count means ensuring that contacts move people's lives forward, rather than allowing them to fall through."
St Mungo's is mentioned four times in the report, in relation to its research with the Department of Health and Homeless Link on hospital discharge and the charity's work with other agencies on the suitability of the Work Capability Assessment. It also includes employment research on clients from St Mungo's 2012 Client Needs Survey.
New funding was also announced today to help those already, or at risk of, rough sleeping.
St Mungo's will be managing two new projects of the six set to be funded in London by the Homelessness Transition Fund:
West London boroughs have seen an increased problem of rough sleeping by non-EU nationals, many of whom come from the Indian subcontinent and may have an unknown or irregular immigration status. With no access to publicly funded help, St.Mungo's Street Legal project, in partnership with Refugee Action and Thames Reach, will provide help with complex legal issues and support to get individuals into accommodation. The project will work closely with local councils, the UK Borders Agency, the police and embassies.
The service will work with new and long-term rough sleepers in Hackney from eastern European countries who need more specialist help. Charity outreach staff will assess each individual's housing, health and welfare situation and help broker plans to move them on from the streets. The project, run by St Mungo's, will work in partnership with the council, local wardens, the police and other agencies, including the UKBA.
In December 2011, St Mungo's was awarded three grants from the Homeless Transition Fund to support outreach personalisation for rough sleepers in Reading, the Bristol roll out of early intervention programme No Second Night Out and a pioneering homeless healthcare programme in London.