Introducing the Sussex Rough Sleeper Prevention Project

Our Home Works service is a key partner in the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) funded Rough Sleeper Prevention Project, with two specialist rough sleeping prevention workers (RSPCs) co-located in the housing teams of Hastings and Eastbourne District Borough Councils.

The project follows the principles of ‘No First Night Out’ and ‘No Second Night Out’ with a focus on identifying those at risk of rough sleeping and targeting early interventions for insecurely housed individuals alongside a rapid response to those new to rough sleeping.

The number of people sleeping rough in England on any one night has more than doubled since 2010 with the Government’s annual rough sleeper count in 2016 estimating that 4,134 people were sleeping on the streets across England. This is a 16% increase in the past year, which follows a 30% increase in 2015.

Working in close partnership with the District and Borough housing options teams across East Sussex, our RSPCs deliver responsive, intensive and whole person support for people at risk of rough sleeping. The RSPC’s develop action plans tailored to the needs of individuals; working to reduce rough sleeping, improve health and wellbeing, improve access to Primary Care, reduce the use of A&E, reduce offending, reduce the use of substances, increase access to employment, training and education, and improve access to support networks. 

RSPC Joel summarises the importance of the project, “We give clients intensive support to resolve their housing situation swiftly, be that they are already experiencing their first episode of rough-sleeping or that they are imminently about to.

"Key to this is the ability to access and place prospective rough-sleepers in temporary accommodation and recognising that having a roof over your head and somewhere as a base in the short-term makes resolving your housing situation in the long-term far more viable. This approach also helps prevent clients from becoming entrenched rough sleepers.”