The Bristol city council is formulating a new plan to eliminate homelessness by the year 2027. The five-year strategy aims to reduce the number of rough sleepers in the city in half by 2022 and completely eliminate it by the year 2027. They intend to do this in order to stop young people to suffer from homelessness in the first place.
This comes after the city council’s rough sleeping partner organization, St. Mungo’s, reported encountering a total of 951 rough sleepers in 2018. The 23% increase from last year prompted the charity, Feed The Homeless, to call it an “emergency situation”.
Moreover, reports also show that the average number of nightly rough sleepers in the city is 82, making it the fifth highest in the country.
The Bristol Outreach Services for the Homeless, more commonly known as BOSH, regards the council’s plan to eradicate homelessness as ambitious.
BOSH’s Julie Dempster said that an increase of supported and move-on accommodation would be needed for this plan. Additionally, she stated that people who have high support needs can’t keep getting evicted and sent to the streets, repeating the cycle; it’s unhelpful and counterproductive. Moreover, she also says that implementing these changes are needed for the city council’s new plan to work.
The cabinet member for housing, Councillor Paul Smith, said that via early intervention for those who are at risk, they can prevent all forms of homelessness; not just rough sleeping.
Proposals for the project include an effort to increase the number of available move-on places – housing that is between hostels – and concentrating on the youth and people who leave institutions such as hospitals, prisons, and the likes.
However, the challenge lies in the lack of affordable housing, specifically, private accommodation for those who subsist on housing benefits.
The public consultation regarding these plans will run until 27th of May 2019.