Executive Mayor of Mansfield Andy Abrahams has officially launched a voluntary code of practice to help local organisations take a united approach to supporting homeless people in the district.
The Mansfield Homeless Charter has been drawn up by Mansfield Homeless Network, a body of interested organisations and agencies, led by Mansfield District Council, that works together to support the area's street community in an effective and caring way.
The Charter sets out how groups can work together to achieve positive outcomes for rough sleepers and other homeless people.
Among its principles are that:
- Members of the homeless network regularly attend meetings to receive support so that it can work collaboratively.
- Soup kitchen managers are DBS checked.
- Soup kitchen managers be responsible for safeguarding procedures and recording volunteer details.
- Information sharing requires the consent of clients and is risk assessed.
- Clients making use of homelessness services and facilities in the district adhere to a code of acceptable behaviour, or risk being excluded.
- Clients sign in and out of facilities and services using their personal details.
- Any support for a client only be requested with the consent of the individual needing help.
Mayor Andy, who has been a regular volunteer at a winter shelter for street sleepers, said: "Mansfield is fortunate in that it has a very caring community and this means there is a lot of support out there for people who find themselves living on the street.
"In order to be effective in tackling the issue of homelessness holistically, it is important that all these different strands of the support sing from the same song sheet and act in unison.
"This is the strength of the Network and this new Charter and I think if we all stick to this code of practice, ultimately it will be to the benefit the vulnerable people who we are all seeking to support."
Jill Finnesey, Head of Housing at the council, said: "This charter complements the council's own strategy for tackling homelessness and the various policies and schemes we have in place to permanently reduce the number of rough sleepers and prevent people from losing their home.
"It is vital that everyone with an interest in helping homeless people and reducing the number of people living on the streets works with a unified and codified approach to promote the best outcomes for those we are all trying to help."