Rough sleeping was on the rise before Covid in southern Bucks. We had some nights when over 40 people were thought to be sleeping rough. In March this year the government asked all local authorities to urgently get everyone who was sleeping rough off the streets into safe accommodation where they could self-isolate. This was regarded as a success but in many part of the country rough sleeping has been beginning to seep back in. We're determined to see the end of rough sleeping here in Bucks. We're working closely with our local authority to ensure that anyone newly facing rough sleeping is quickly picked up and provided emergency accommodation and is then helped to look for longer term accommodation. We're also making sure that people are supported whilst they're in the emergency accommodation so we're making regular phone calls to them and dropping off food parcels to them weekly. To do this we require a dedicated experienced staff member who is familiar with all the different local services and is known and trusted by the rough sleepers. We have this and this new exciting way of working really looks like it could take off.
The difficulty for us this year is that most of our fundraising events have had to be postponed and some of the organisations which we had previously applied to for grant funding are not able to support us this year. We are now looking for funding so that we can really make sure that rough sleeping is a thing of the past in our area.