Rough sleeper numbers decrease in annual count

The official number of rough sleepers in Peterborough has decreased, according to figures published in the Government's annual rough sleeper count.

A total of 29 rough sleepers were spotted on the city's streets in November, a reduction on the 31 counted the previous year.

The count took place just a few weeks after the launch of the city's Safer Off the Streets partnership in October, which has seen the city come together to provide help, shelter and support for rough sleepers.

Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities at Peterborough City Council said this was an early indicator of the 'significant' progress the Safer Off the Streets partnership had made: "By working together with charities and organisations through the Safer Off the Streets partnership, we are beginning to make a real difference to lives of those who sleep on our streets.

“It is important to remember that this is just a snapshot of a single night in the year and it took place just a few weeks after the Safer Off the Streets partnership launch. However, the council completes its own count every two months, and our figures also indicate the number of rough sleepers are decreasing - which is encouraging news.”

Christine Graham, chair of the Safer Off the Streets partnership said: “Already, the Safer Off the Streets partnership has organised a range of services for rough sleepers including raising over £5,000 to help fund the Garden House Day Centre.

“On average, we estimate we are helping eight rough sleepers a month to get the skills, advice and accommodation they need to get off the streets for good.”

To donate to the partnership, either use the Contactless Card Reader by the Argo Lounge in St Peter’s Arcade, the cash donations boxes at Town Hall or the Visitor’s Centre in Bridge Street, or donate online at www.saferoffthestreets.co.uk

The Severe Weather Emergency Provision is currently in place at Fairview Court, Oundle Road, Peterborough. Rough sleepers who need a warm bed for the night should attend before 10pm.

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