WHAT WE DO?
NSNO seeks to introduce a step change in the way we respond to those who arrive new to rough sleeping on the streets.
It aims to:
- Provide a rapid response to new rough sleeping, based on better intelligence and public awareness.
- Link those who migrate into central London back into services where their local connection means they are most likely to sustain a life away from the streets.
- Provide a single offer based on the assessment of each individual’s needs, which means no-one need spend a second night out on the streets.
It does it through:
- Three dedicated 24-hour assessment hub facilities staffed by a team of assessment and reconnection workers (who liaise with services, negotiate and advocate on a client’s behalf, and where necessary accompany individuals returning to local services). The ‘hub’ is not an accommodation project, but a place of safety where people can be assessed any time day or night in an environment away from the street. There is an intention that no one should spend more than 72 hours at the hub.
- A 24 hour telephone rough sleeping phone line and website, to support public reporting of rough sleepers.
- Working closely with outreach teams on the ground (through whom all referrals to the project are directed) to provide a consistent response to new rough sleepers, and by expanding the remit of a London Street Rescue service to ensure there is capacity to respond to new rough sleepers at all times.
This project is aimed exclusively at those people newly arriving onto the streets of London. The pilot project began on 1st April 2011 and from 1st June 2012 operates across all London boroughs. No Second Night Out augments, rather than substitutes, for outreach and support services in these boroughs.
A rough sleeping referral phoneline has been set up to encourage and enable the public to make referrals of rough sleepers: 0300 500 0914. This is an important tool to engage the public to be the eyes and ears on the street and increasing the chances of getting to new rough sleepers quickly.
When people are helped off the streets by outreach teams and into the assessment hub, after a comprehensive assessment an offer is made so that they do not need to return to rough sleeping. The options considered are wide-ranging and researched thoroughly. This often includes helping the person return to their home area; whether this is within London, the rest of the UK, or abroad because most often this is where someone will be eligible to access services immediately.
No Second Night Out stresses the importance of reconnecting people with their families or other support networks and returning to their home area and evidence suggests that people are more likely to succeed where they have the most support and knowledge of an area. To this end, the team based at the hub provide new rough sleepers with assistance to access support and accommodation in their home areas, advocating with housing providers in those areas and providing the practical support for people to return closer to home where it is safe to do so. This is in line with existing London and national protocols and guidance for reconnection – see www.homeless.org.uk/reconnection
No Second Night Out operates a single offer approach for the target group. Borough outreach teams and the assessment hub work together to give the same consistent messages. The assessment and offer made to individuals will be shared with all outreach practitioners, including London Street Rescue, through the Combined Homeless and Information Network (CHAIN) – a database for people who work with rough sleepers and the street population in London. The system is used to help workers share information to ensure that they act as quickly and effectively as possible to help those they encounter.