Helping homeless people and rough sleepers
Posted on Tuesday 19th February 2019
Newport City Council has recently adopted the Gwent Homelessness Strategy following a thorough review of the issue in the city and four neighbouring authority areas.
This partnership approach uses the skills and knowledge of key officers to enable a joined up approach to tackling an extremely complex issue.
Newport, Torfaen, Monmouthshire, Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent councils have a common vision - that everyone in the region has a home to live in and, if needed, the right support to lead a fulfilling life.
The strategy sets out four priorities:
- Help improve access to suitable and affordable housing
- Offer fast and effective advice and support, working with partners to help vulnerable people
- Minimise homelessness and prevent it through early intervention
- Ensure fair, equal and person-centred homeless services
Newport City Council's housing needs team works hard to help families and individuals that find themselves in such difficult circumstances.
People who are homeless and approach the council are immediately helped to find emergency accommodation and then assisted with longer term solutions.
Homelessness is on the rise across the country and Newport City Council works with partners to provide a range of services for people at risk of homelessness, those who are homeless and rough sleepers.
Rough sleeping is just one aspect of homelessness and the reasons why people sleep on the streets can be complicated but the numbers are quite small in context of those who need assistance with housing issues.
Working with partners, the council has a number of effective procedures aimed at preventing and alleviating homelessness across the city and rough sleeping forms part of this work.
Newport City Council, Gwent Police and specialist charities such as The Wallich and Eden Gate work closely together as they recognise that there are some very vulnerable people in our society who need support, practical help and focussed assistance in order to break the cycle of homelessness
However, this work depends on the engagement of individuals, some of whom have multiple support needs, but that will not stop us continuing to reach out to offer help and advice.
For example, the council has worked in partnership with Eden Gate on an extensive refurbishment of premises that will enable an emergency night shelter to be delivered throughout the year. This service, like most night shelters, will rely on the support of volunteers and we would urge anyone who may like to get involved to contact Eden Gate.
The council also works with registered social landlords such as Newport City Homes and the Pobl Group, who are creating new homes to meet the demand for affordable housing in the city.
There is a recognition of the increase in demand for social housing and Welsh Government is currently undertaking a review of the supply of affordable housing in Wales which is due to report in the spring.