Bournemouth, Latest News | Posted: Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 at 10:07 am | return to news

Minister praises Bournemouth’s homelessness success

Lockdown was particularly traumatic for rough sleepers, but it would appear that Bournemouth has worked well to alleviate the problem.

L-R GP Maggie Kirk, Cllr Kieron Wilson, BCP Council housing operations manager Becki Parsons and Minister Luke Hall
L-R GP Maggie Kirk, Cllr Kieron Wilson, BCP Council housing operations manager Becki Parsons and Minister Luke Hall

The Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, Luke Hall MP, made a private visit to BCP Council in which he praised the authority’s support given to helping the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council set up assessment hubs within local hotels for those sleeping rough to enable them to access health and other invaluable support services As a result of the work undertaken, significant numbers of people have successfully moved into more settled accommodation rather than return to life on the streets.  He heard that although there is still some way to go to help the remaining people out of the hotels into more longer term accommodation, great progress had been made for so many who have had their lives turned around.

During his visit the Minister toured an example of the accommodation used to temporarily house those sleeping rough and met with residents who had benefited from the support received. Mr Hall also engaged in a round table discussion with chief executive Graham Farrant, housing portfolio holder Cllr Kieron Wilson and key housing officers looking at the challenges faced by council teams and the many partner agencies in supporting the homeless.

Cllr Kieron Wilson, portfolio holder for Housing, BCP Council, said, “The government gave councils an ‘Everyone In’ directive at the end of March to get all rough sleepers inside urgently.  We managed to house around 100 people in the first five days and subsequently housed many more over the coming weeks that were at risk of rough sleeping and had nowhere else to go.

“We pride ourselves in the fact that we didn’t just put a roof over their heads but took a holistic approach to supporting people, ensuring they got proper access to appropriate medical help and worked with many partner services to address often quite complex support needs.”

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