Headlines: January 11th, 2000

A report on how to tackle rough sleeping has shown up valuable lessons to be learned when tackling a problem that cuts across traditional service boundaries.The DETR has published an evaluation of the nine-year project Rough Sleepers Initiative (RSI) which ended last year.

Lessons from RSI will be taken forward by the Rough Sleepers Unit within DETR, which is responsible for implementing a programme to achieve the Government target of a two thirds reduction in the number of people sleeping rough by 2002.

The report finds that achievement of the target will be tough, and will require more effective joint working, better information about and co-ordination of facilities, such as hostels, to combat rough sleeping.

It also recommends that lessons about what works be learned, rather than continuing to offer measures which in some cases reinforce street living and in others exclude the genuine rough sleeper.

In London, the project’s main base, there were difficulties in co-ordinating outreach work, which could be addressed by the development of integrated teams to cover defined geographical areas.

A summary of Homes for street homeless people: An Evaluation of the Rough Sleepers Initiative is available on the web at: http://www.housing.detr.gov.uk/hrs/hrs104.htm