ADD374 Faith Based Co-Ordination Project

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
14 December 2015
Decision by: 
Jamie Ratcliff, Assistant Director, Housing

Executive summary

As part of the GLA’s ongoing work commissioning rough sleeping services aligned to the Mayor’s key priorities, as set out in the Commissioning Framework 2011-15, approval is sought to grant fund the Faith-Based Co-ordination Project that contributes to the aim of ending rough sleeping in London. 



That the Assistant Director of the Programme, Policy and Services Unit of the Housing and Land Directorate approves the award for 2015-16 of £25,000 of grant funding to the Passage for the Faith Based Co-ordination Project.              


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    Among the Mayor’s key aims in his London Housing Strategy are to work with boroughs and other partners to ensure that no one new to London’s streets sleeps rough for a second night, no one lives on the streets and the flow of new rough sleepers onto the streets is minimised. Since early 2009, the Mayor has convened a board that brings together key partners to identify timely, appropriate and sustainable solutions to rough sleeping in the capital (initially the London Delivery Board and now the Mayor’s Rough Sleeping Group). Since 2011, he has also had responsibility for funding and commissioning pan-London rough sleeper services. These are services for rough sleepers, or initiatives to tackle rough sleeping, that cannot or would not be provided at a London borough level, as they are pan-London or multi-borough in their remit. A budget of £33.8 million for these services was devolved to the GLA from central government for 2011-15. This budget was extended until 2015/16 and approval granted through MD1417. 

1.2    The shape and nature of these services is underpinned by the Mayor’s Rough Sleeping Commissioning Framework, which includes a priority ‘to enhance the service offer from faith and community based organisations’. In order to meet this priority, the GLA has – since 2012 - been grant-funding The Passage to provide the Faith Based Co-ordination Project. This seeks to influence non-commissioned services, such as soup runs and day centres, to help rough sleepers move away from the streets. It does so by working with them to help develop good practice and build relationships between commissioned and non-commissioned rough sleeping services. Achievements of the project to date include the following in 2014/15:
•    16 non-commissioned day centres given targeted support and partnership action plans agreed 
•    Increase in the number of soup runs operating indoors leading to a reduction in the number of soup runs operating on street around the Strand, Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Waterloo.

1.3    There has been a significant increase in the number of rough sleepers in recent years, primarily because of the increased flow of new people onto the streets. Over 7,500 people were seen rough sleeping by outreach workers during 2014/15, of which 67% were new arrivals onto the streets. Further, we have seen a shift in demographic of the rough sleeping population, with a larger proportion (57%) of those sleeping rough who are non-UK nationals. Given that often non-UK nationals are unable to access commissioned day centres and their single service offer is reconnection, it is of crucial importance that non-commissioned services work in partnership with commissioned service. It is, therefore proposed that the Faith Based Co-ordination Project is extended for a further year. 

1.4    To date, the GLA has funded this entire project directly with The Passage. However, this year, following negotiations, Westminster City Council has agreed to fund half this project and lead on the contract development. These negotiations have resulted in a slight delay in providing the grant but substantial savings to the budget and improved targets.   


Objectives and expected outcomes


Project/service to be funded


Expected outcome

The Passage for the Faith Based Coordination project           


Annual grant agreements for 2012-15, were issued to the provider. An additional year’s funding would enable the project to be continued and provide more focus with clearer aims to working with the faith-based community of the homelessness sector.

Proposed GLA funding: £25,000 for 2015/16.

To enhance the service offer from faith and community based organisations, in line with priority 10 of the Mayor’s Rough Sleeping Commissioning Framework.

To create an indoor meal provision model and to commence initial development of best practice standards for day centres across London.

Equality comments

3.1    Of those seen rough sleeping in 2013/14:
•    54% were non-UK nationals
•    46% had a mental health need
•    13% were women
•    most of those seen rough sleeping (57%) were in the 26-45 age group
•    12% were under 26 years old
•    10% were over 55
•    11 people were under 18.

3.2    As rough sleepers are over-represented among those with the protected characteristics of race and disability, the proposals in this paper are likely to have positive impacts on these groups.


Other considerations

a) Key risks and issues

Risk description



Mitigating action


The Faith Based Co-ordination Project fails to meet its targets


The Passage has consistently met two of the three targets set annually. However, this year the targets have been adjusted and the risk will be shared with Westminster City Council therefore the GLA investment has been halved (see appendix 1).

b) Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

The objectives of the proposals are in line with the Mayor’s Rough Sleeping Commissioning Framework 2011-15 and its successor for 2016 onwards, as well as the Mayor’s statutory London Housing Strategy which includes the following priorities: to work with boroughs and other partners to ensure that no one new to the streets sleeps rough for a second night, no one lives on the streets of London and the flow of new rough sleepers onto the streets is minimised.

c) Impact assessments and consultations

The Mayor’s Rough Sleeping Commissioning Framework 2011-15 was made available for public consultation and was subject to a full equalities impact assessment. It successor, for 2016 onwards, was subject to consultation with key stakeholders. The statutory London Housing Strategy has been subject to a full-integrated impact assessment and undergone statutory consultation with the London Assembly and functional bodies and with the public.


Financial comments

5.1    The GLA’s 2015-17 Business Plan allocates £8.45 million for the Mayor’s rough sleeping services in 2015/16 and there is sufficient uncommitted funding within this budget to meet the proposed costs. 

5.2     The Programme, Policy and Services Unit of the Housing and Land Directorate, will be responsible for monitoring and managing the grant and ensuring that all activities and associated expenditure comply with the Authority’s Financial Regulations, Contracts and Funding Code and Expenses and Benefits Framework.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

6.1    The GLA will continue to monitor the service on a quarterly basis to assess performance against targets. The performance of the service will be reported to the quarterly internal Rough Sleeping Group convened by the Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property.


Appendices and supporting papers

Appendix 1 Previous targets and annual performance 2014


Performance Target

Actual Performance


60% reduction from April 2013 in the number of soup runs operating around the Strand, Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Waterloo.

60% reduction



Identify 4 day centres to target for focused support. Develop and implement an action plan in partnership with each day centre.

4 day centres supported

4 day centres supported


Deliver event to share best practice of interfaith initiatives effectively addressing homelessness, encouraging a wider range of faith groups to link into established services.

Event held

Event s held













Appendix 2 Performance targets 2015/16






Identify a total of 16 (4 per quarter) day centres for focused support. Develop and implement an action plan in partnership with each day centre.


4 day centre engagements per quarter with development and implementation of an action plan. 1 of which must be a local authority commissioned day centre. The other 3 should be day centres that boroughs or the GLA would like the Passage to work with. Where possible the day centres should be in a different borough.


The organisations must engage with local authorities to identify day centres.


Copies of action plans and progress reports.


Development of a day centre standard across Greater London.

Production of a report with recommendations:

  • For a day centre standard
  • On how to implement a day centre standard (i.e. processes)


The service should:

  • Produce a timetable for completion
  • Consult and hold focus group meetings with stakeholders


Report should include:

  • Research strategy and methodology
  • How best to integrate the GLA commissioning framework priorities into working practice across all provision
  • How to work more effectively with commissioned services particularly outreach or LSR.
  • Recommendations for standard contents and processes for implementation.


Draft Report for 01 March 2016.


Progress report and draft report to be produced for 01 March 2016.