Stoke unveils five-year homelessness plan

Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet is set to approve a new homelessness and rough sleeping strategy, providing targeted and timely interventions.

New figures for the region show that the number of people sleeping rough in the city has halved in the past 12 months, coinciding with recent news that the council is working with the Macari Centre to finalise a new, five-year lease that provides long-term security for the Hanley-based shelter.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council will receive an additional £136,000 in its homelessness reduction grant from government for 2020-21; a move which cabinet members say reflects the confidence shown in the work being delivered in the city. Once approved the city’s Homelessness Reduction Board, a consortium of service providers and other agencies working with homeless people in Stoke-on-Trent, will oversee the development and delivery of a detailed action plan aimed at reducing homelessness and eradicating rough sleeping in the city.

Randolph Conteh, cabinet member for community and safer city said: “I am very pleased to be able to present a new homelessness and rough sleeping strategy for Stoke-on-Trent. Over the five years since the last strategy was adopted we have worked closely with partners to ensure that people facing homelessness have the best possible support to prevent this wherever possible and quickly relieve it where it does occur.

“In line with the national picture we have seen rises in the numbers of people approaching the council as homeless and finding themselves sleeping rough but our strong partnership approach has meant that we have been able meet this challenge both through effective delivery of new legislation and by bringing in additional resources from central government. This has meant that we have been able to protect front line services working with homeless households at a time other local authorities have been reducing theirs. This strategy sets out our continued commitment to tackling homelessness and meeting the government’s target of eradicating rough sleeping by the end of this parliament and I am confident that it provides a clear framework to support the partnerships we have in place to achieve this.”