The government have made a national effort to house all rough sleepers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Derbyshire councils and charities are banding together to house dozens of homeless people who could end up back on the streets once government support ends.
The project, dubbed Derbyshire Keeping Everyone In, aims to support around 60 homeless people with the most “challenging” needs once the government’s Everyone In scheme – to house all rough sleepers in hotels – ends.
Over the course of the pandemic, councils across the county – including Derby – have taken in over 130 rough sleepers and housed them in hotels so as to allow them to self-isolate. Many of these people have since left council support.
Derbyshire Dales District Council has published a report on the proposed scheme, due to be discussed by its emergency committee today.
Its report says current lockdown support for homeless people in Derbyshire – which it says was a “major success” and involved councils, health services and the police – will come to a close on Friday, June 26.
The authority says: “The hotel provision, although effective, cannot be retained. In addition, we do not expect the ‘Everyone In’ initiative to continue much further.
“The people bought in need an offer of support to help them through the next phase. Partner agencies have been working on a plan to put the necessary resources in place to support and re-home as many people as possible into longer-term accommodation.
“Without a boost in support services and an increased supply in accommodation, most of the people accommodated in hotels, guest houses and B&Bs will have nowhere to go, and current support services will be unable to provide the care and expertise required for the amount of people being released onto the streets.
“There is therefore an opportunity to build on the collaborative approach nurtured over the last few months.”
The proposed partnership would be led by Chesterfield Borough Council and financed by all of the Derbyshire authorities.
Setting up the service for 12 months would cost £260,000 while a further £284,000 would be required to hire seven expert staff to run it for a year.
These costs will be shared across Derbyshire authorities in proportion with the forecast number of cases for each district and borough.
Through the new scheme councils will partner with charities Pathways of Chesterfield for support in the north of the county and P3 for the south.
It aims to provide “intensive and wrap-around” support for approximately 60 people who have been housed by Derbyshire authorities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Those selected, the council says “are experiencing overlapping and challenging issues such as offending, drug and alcohol misuse and poor mental health”.
It says: “The cohort for this service is a complex group for whom existing provision will not sufficiently meet their needs.
“The existing services are unsuitable for their level of need and/or circumstances.
“There is also the acknowledgement that existing services that may be able to meet the needs of this group are already at capacity and, in many cases, operating waiting lists, thus creating a barrier to timely access.”
Dales officers say the proposed partnership is “more efficient and cost effective than each local authority making its own arrangements”.