Sheffield Council gets over £600,000 to find rough sleepers short-term homes

Rough sleepers who were given emergency hotel rooms during the first lockdown are moving into their new accommodation.

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 4:45 pm

Last March, the Government said all councils had to urgently offer accommodation to rough sleepers and Sheffield found 191 placements for people.

Now the Government has given the council almost £610,000 to help rough sleepers find shorter term homes. The hotel accommodation will also be extended until March 31.

When the bid was submitted at the end of August, Sheffield had 80 people in emergency hotel provision.

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Rough sleepers in Sheffield who were given emergency hotel rooms during the first lockdown are moving into their new accommodation. Picture: stock image

Housing manager Zoe Young says in a report: "Over time as we move people on, it will enable us to gradually close the hotels.

"The emergency accommodation enabled housing conversations to start immediately. Each of the 80 individuals have move-on plans.

"Representatives from housing, mental and physical health services, drug and alcohol support and the police discuss appropriate housing options and the wraparound support needed for each individual, taking the rough sleeper’s wishes and feelings into account.

"We have identified the most appropriate option to move each individual out of emergency accommodation."

Three full-time workers were employed to support both rough sleepers and hotel staff.

Rough sleepers have given a positive response, saying they feel listened to and respected.

The report adds: "We have a very complex cohort in some of our most entrenched rough sleepers and they may need greater provision of bespoke, specialist, and intensive support.

"We have had a unique opportunity in lockdown to engage with rough sleepers in new and different ways and this has worked for some of our most entrenched rough sleepers.

"We need to build on the stability that the Covid-19 response has provided for some of our rough sleepers who are now ready to move on, but this must be slow and gradual."

The money can also be spent on providing beds during severe weather because the usual communal spaces, shared crash pads and space at the Fire Service can't be used due to Covid restrictions.

Last winter there were 87 severe weather placements between November and March.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.