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Fall in number of rough sleepers in Mansfield

Mansfield District Council has seen a fall in the number of rough sleepers in the town centre, compared to last year. In a survey of rough sleepers, 15 people were counted, compared with 27 people a year ago.

The count was carried out by Framework's Street Outreach Team, who conducted a count of the number of individuals found sleeping rough. They visited 120 locations across the town and recorded 15 rough sleepers.

Cllr Barry Answer, Mansfield District Council's Portfolio Holder for Housing said: "Framework carried out a survey of rough sleepers in Mansfield on our behalf and counted 15 people. This is a significant reduction against 27 this time last year, but even one person sleeping rough is one person too many.

"The causes of homelessness and rough sleeping are complex, but there are a range of national strategies that have a major impact on the provision of local services. As far as possible, we engage with rough sleepers positively, including taking part in walkabouts around the town with the Chief Executive, talking to people and offering them support.

"In Mansfield we are continuing to ring-fence funding to tackle homelessness, which isn't happening widely across all councils. We are using this funding to provide a winter night shelter, dedicated hostel provision, a homelessness prevention grant and other early intervention activity."

Over the past year, Mansfield District Council has worked with Framework to help accommodate 14 rough sleepers. Partners have also been working closely with people at risk of homelessness to identify and address any circumstances which could lead to the person losing their home, for example rent arrears or a reduction in their benefits.

Partners - including Mansfield Homeless Network, Framework, local charities and voluntary agencies, the police and the council's community safety team - work together to provide practical help through outreach services, healthcare and mental health services, access to a CAB advice hub which provides free independent advice and additional support to help settle people who have moved into a new home.

Cllr Answer added: "We are committed to providing support to help vulnerable homeless people get back on their feet. As the causes of homelessness and rough sleeping are not simple, the support offered needs to be designed to properly meet the intricate needs we encounter. It's much more than just giving someone a key.

"We would like to encourage people to contact Framework's homeless reporting line on 0800 066 5356, option 2, if they know or see anyone who is homeless and in need of support."

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