THE NUMBER of rough sleepers in the district has dropped.
Following an annual count at the end of November, the estimate was confirmed as ten compared with 17 the previous year.
Stratford District Council based the number on information from support agencies including P3, police and Change, Grow, Live which count the rough sleepers outside on the chosen ‘typical night’.
All local authorities are required to submit an annual figure to central government of the number of people sleeping rough in the area on a single ‘typical night’.
Housing spokeswoman Coun Jacqui Harris said: “The district council remains concerned about people sleeping rough, and has been working hard with partner agencies to tackle the issue. It is therefore pleasing to see that the numbers of people sleeping rough on the streets of Stratford have been significantly reduced.
“Rough sleeping and homelessness is a complex picture, and there is recognition across South Warwickshire that this is not something that can be resolved by just putting a roof over people’s heads.
“Some people refuse to go into the accommodation that is being offered, and others are unable to cope with the responsibility of having a tenancy.”
She added the police, authorities and support providers continued to look at ways to achieve ‘sustainable solutions’ and the council was committed to supporting the rough sleeper community.
The council recently extended its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) to include extreme weather such as wind, heat, snow and rain, as well as freezing temperatures.
When the SWEP is triggered the council run drop-in centre Link Project extends its opening hours to provide more support to those sleeping on the town’s streets.
The Link Project provides help, support and advice to rough sleepers, those in temporary housing and people who are socially isolated. This includes access to showering and washing facilities, food and drink and donated clothing.
Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stratfordlinkproject to donate.