Accomodation offer for all sleeping rough

Everyone sleeping rough on the streets of Plymouth is being offered accommodation to help them stay inside and if necessary, to self-isolate.

An extra 39 beds have been made available in private rental properties to prevent the need to sleep rough and help rough sleepers off the street to stay safe inside.

All the accommodation has separate rooms and support available. Two of the properties will have staff on site to support people who are staying there.

It follows intensive work by the Council and Plymouth Alliance to find appropriate accommodation and to get in touch with rough sleepers to encourage them to go inside.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Housing and Co-operative Development said:  “We have been working closely with our partners to try to get people safe and inside. It’s been a fast moving situation, but we can now confirm that places have been made available and we are continuing to talk to all local housing providers to see how they can help support us.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has worked together so hard to make this provision available.”

The city’s winter provision for rough sleepers at Hamoaze House at Mount Wise and Safesleep provision at Devonport House had to be changed following Government's announcement last week. The dormitory-style accommodation was deemed no longer appropriate, given social distancing requirements and occupants are now being moved into the newly available buildings.

Councillor Penberthy added: “It’s not always easy to persuade people who live on the streets to take up offers of accommodation. Many of them are dealing with some very complex issues, which do not go away instantly.

“But rest assured we are talking to each and every one of them to urge them to come indoors.”

The Shekinah day centre on Bath Street is open until all rough sleepers get their accommodation offers and the Plymouth Soup Run continues to support with food for those most in need. These are being operated within social distancing and hygiene measures.

The alliance is also looking at other alternatives including student lets, guest houses, hotels and holiday lets.

If anyone sees anyone on the street who they are worried about please let services know via our website at https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/homesandproperty/homelessorrisk/roughsleeping  

Plymouth City Council works closely with an alliance of local charities to provide services to people with complex needs including homelessness, substance misuse, mental health and offending.

Charities including Bournemouth Churches Housing Association (who run the George Hostel and other temporary accommodation for homeless people), Harbour, Shekinah, the Zone, Plymouth Access To Housing (PATH), Livewell Southwest and Hamoaze, have formed the alliance and have been working cooperatively with the Council’s commissioning and public health teams over the past four years.