THE NUMBER of people sleeping rough in Stratford district has been confirmed as three in the latest annual count.
The total is one less person than last year and follows a steady reduction over the last few years, with a vast improvement on 2017’s total of 17 rough sleepers.
This year, the Stratford District Council’s figure included an estimate based on intelligence, along with a spotlight street count.
To agree the figure, the authority met with charities and public bodies including P3, the police, CGL, Spring, the NHS, and the Street Pastors to go through the names of known rough sleepers verified as being outside on the typical night chosen.
The spotlight count was carried out in the early hours by P3’s street outreach team and written reports were also received from St Basil’s and Together.
SDC wellbeing spokeswoman Jo Barker said: “I am really pleased to see a continued reduction in the number of people found on the streets of Stratford. This reflects the positive work that has been carried out by all agencies working together.
“Through partnership working, we have been successful in reducing the numbers on our streets for several years now, and we are very much looking forward to the Fred Winter Centre opening in 2022. The council will continue to work with its partners in order to meet government’s commitment to eradicate rough sleeping completely.”
All local authorities have to submit an annual figure to central government indicating the numbers of people sleeping rough in their area on a single ‘typical’ night, which this year was November 17. The figure is then independently verified by national charity Homeless Link before being submitted to the government.
Concerns over rough sleepers can be reported at www.streetlink.org.uk.
Donations can be made to meaningfulchange.org.uk/stratford/ to help rough sleepers in the district.