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Targeted homeless strategy 'is working'

Targeted homeless strategy 'is working'

Homeless Link

3 min read Partner content

The 'No Second Night Out' (NSNO) iniative to help homeless people has been highly effective, according to charities.

67% of rough sleepers across England are now helped off the streets the day they are found, and 78% do not return after receiving help, according to a new reportfrom umbrella body Homeless Link.

NSNO was introduced because the longer someone sleeps rough, the harder it can become to get back on their feet as problems become more complex and serious.

It was developed as a standard for ensuring the right services are in place to help individuals off the streets as quickly as possible.

But with funding due to end in 2015, Homeless Link is calling on Government and councils across England to help protect investment in NSNO services.

Homeless Linksupported a pilot of the initiative in London in 2011 and its subsequent rollout across England through the £20m Government backed Homelessness Transition Fund.

The reportshows that almost all local authorities are now running or developing services based on the NSNO standard.

In London, where the initiative has been running longest, 75% of new rough sleepers were only seen once in 2012/13 compared to 62% in 2010/11.

Councils and local charities also agree that NSNO has improved the help available to rough sleepers and led to a more effective service throughout England.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said:

"The No Second Night Out standard has been a real success and has helped many vulnerable people facing the prospect of rough sleeping to get their lives back on track.

"It has given thousands of people the advice and support they need to ensure they do not have to spend a second night on the streets and I am pleased to see that this good work will continue.

"This Government is determined to make every effort to help prevent and tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

"That’s why we have invested £470million over four years to ensure that support is available to the most vulnerable people across the country."

Homeless Link said the progress that has been made in the last two years can only be sustained through sufficient investment.

91% of NSNO services in the sample were funded by the Homelessness Transition Fund, but with this funding due to end in March 2015, there is a real risk that the good work will be undone through lack of funding.

Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, said:

"The NSNO standard allows councils to adapt services to suit the needs of their area, so it’s fantastic to see such positive results throughout England, with more individuals being supported towards long-term stability and independence.

"It is important, however, that we recognise the challenges that lie ahead in making sure this level of support for rough sleepers can continue. Government must continue funding services in order for the voluntary sector to meet demand for help."

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