Rough sleeping services
Helping rough sleepers off the streets
The Mayor provides a range of services to help rough sleepers come off the streets and rebuild their lives. These complement those provided by London’s boroughs.
£8.45 million a year of GLA funding is spent on the Mayor's core rough sleeping services. With his No Nights Sleeping Rough taskforce, the Mayor has also secured additional funding from Government to develop much-needed new services and expand current ones - £4.2 million in December 2016 and a further £3.3m in June 2018. In 2017, City Hall launched three major new services - Safe Connections, the Social Impact Bond for Entrenched Rough Sleepers and Night Transport Outreach. The initiatives being funded this year with the additional £3.3m include:
- doubling the number of London Street Rescue outreach workers
- boosting local cold weather shelters
- expanding the No Second Night Out service, including two new staging posts and new 'Floating Hubs'
- improving access to mental health services with a specialist team to assess rough sleepers.
The priorities underpinning all rough sleeping services, projects and initiatives funded by the Mayor are set out in the pan-London Rough Sleeping Commissioning Framework.
Below are details of some of the Mayor's rough sleeping services.
More information is in the Mayor's rough sleeping services briefing.
Providing outreach services in London boroughs that don't have their own services. Its work includes connecting new rough sleepers across London to No Second Night Out.
To find out more, visit the London Street Rescue website.
Ensuring that those sleeping rough on night buses, the Night Tube and Overground are referred into appropriate services and do not end up on London's streets.
An assessment and reconnection service for rough sleepers who are new to the streets, comprising three assessment hubs, plus short term ‘staging post’ accommodation. NSNO also provides 'Floating Hubs' for both new and longer-term rough sleepers.
To find out more, visit the No Second Night Out website.
An assessment and reconnection service for rough sleepers who are relatively new to the streets and have a local connection in the UK.
Providing intensive and personalised support to 350 of the most entrenched rough sleepers in London.
Sleeping rough is dangerous under any circumstances, but during cold weather the negative health effects are even more severe and can pose a risk to life. SWEP is first and foremost a humanitarian response.
SWEP is short-term, temporary shelter that is provided to anyone sleeping rough, regardless of their local connections or recourse to public funds. It is activated any time that the temperature is forecast to reach 0°C or below.
The Mayor has two main roles with regard to SWEP; he:
- identifies best practice for the delivery of SWEP, and uses his resources and influence to encourage councils to adopt these ways of working, and
- funds a pan-London ‘overflow’ SWEP service which ensures that there are SWEP spaces available for everyone sleeping rough in London, by opening additional capacity when council SWEP spaces are full.
During winter 2018, for the first time, the Mayor is also directly coordinating the activation of SWEP services for the whole of London.
Last year (2017/18) the Mayor’s team conducted a comprehensive review of SWEP in London, please see the 2018-19 guidance here, and his pan-London SWEP service opened 120 spaces, sheltering 192 people and supporting them away from the street.
Encouraging innovation and new ideas
The Mayor also contributes towards other rough sleeping services, projects and initiatives, mainly through his Rough Sleeping Innovation Fund (RSIF). The RSIF provides a major opportunity to develop new innovative and impactful initiatives, to increase the pace of progress, to tackle a wider range of issues and to complement (but not duplicate) existing commissioned services, with demonstrable outcomes.
The Mayor has set aside up to £1 million over four years for this Fund. Grants for one year will range from £10,000 to £50,000. For two-year proposals, there is a maximum bid allowance of £80,000 for two-year duration. To maximise the impact of the RSIF - will prioritise bids that include match-funding.
Details of projects funded in round two of the RSIF can be found below.
Provides training and employment for rough sleepers at two new cafés, alongside supporting them to access and sustain accommodation.
A web-based training and support tool for staff in the homelessness sector, with a focus on working with people with mental health issues and experiences of trauma.
To increase the capacity of non-commissioned services to support people sleeping rough who are not from the UK.
Facilitates contactless donations by the public to homelessness charities.
To provide safe shelter accommodation and a daytime community centre to homeless LGBTIQ+ people.
Housing advice and immigration casework for homeless non-EEA homeless migrants in three London hospitals.
Supports church and community night shelters to implement a strengths-based casework model.
Supports couples who have no route of the street via direct intervention, training and a toolkit for homelessness professionals.
Projects which were funded through round one of the RSIF were, Homelessness and Acquired Brain Injury Project, Beam, Saving Lives, Housing First Richmond and Wandsworth.
Details of projects funded in round one of the RSIF which will continue for another year are:
A female peer-led team, to support clients to attend health and other related appointments to help resolve both their homelessness and health-related needs (Groundswell)
To pilot a new web-based tool that cross-checks key details from Missing People’s database with those on the CHAIN database (Missing People).
A project focusing on women with multiple needs (domestic violence, substance misuse, offending) across four south London boroughs. To enable women to move off and stay off the streets, to build up their skills and confidence to make positive choices about relationships, substance misuse and their personal safety (Thames Reach).
The Mayor also contributes towards other rough sleeping, projects and initiatives through a grant fund. This also complements (but not duplicate) existing commissioned services, with demonstrable outcomes. Details of other grant projects which are grant funded can be found below.
The Homeless Health Peer Advocacy Service provides peer advocacy accompaniment to rough sleepers for health appointments and treatment.
To work with a cohort of women over 40 who are entrenched rough sleepers with complex needs, who wander between borough boundaries, and who tend to keep themselves hidden, or who are unwilling to engage. The bid was very similar to previous bid so is not eligible for this round of funding. However, this project may be funded outside of the RSIF.
Veterans Aid’s Welfare to Wellbeing initiative provides an immediate route off the street for any UK veteran in need and a bespoke, structured pathway into independent living. The service’s ‘no first night out’ philosophy means it also supports any UK veteran who is at risk of becoming homeless in London, to prevent them from having to sleep rough.
Alongside swiftly help people to enter accommodation, the ‘Welfare to Wellbeing’ model also delivers a range of other support dependent on the person’s needs. This could include help to purchase basic essentials, such as food and toiletries, or supporting them to address addictions through access to detox and rehab.