London Councils has welcomed the interim report of the Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping, published today.
The report calls on the Government to continue “the principles and funding of the ‘Everyone In’ initiative”, which saw thousands of rough sleepers quickly brought into emergency accommodation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The commission suggests this work is key to the Government achieving its manifesto pledge of ending rough sleeping by 2024 and avoiding a post-pandemic surge in the number of people sleeping on the streets.
Following the launch of ‘Everyone In’ last year, around 5,000 former rough sleepers in London are now in settled accommodation. A further 2,400 people remain in short-term emergency accommodation such as hostels. Hundreds more are still on the streets of the capital.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing & Planning — and a member of the Kerslake Commission — said: “There can be no doubt that ‘Everyone In’ was a gamechanger and a major success. The Government not only provided a clear directive but also invested crucial extra funding into homelessness services and worked effectively in partnership with local councils, the voluntary sector, and others. Thousands of rough sleepers were brought off London’s streets in an impressively short timeframe, which undoubtedly saved lives.
“London boroughs want this work to continue and to do everything we can to help end rough sleeping altogether. The Government shouldn’t lose sight of what made ‘Everyone In’ a success. We need longer-term commitments — especially in terms of funding for local services. Giving councils sufficient resources is essential for reducing rough sleeping on a permanent basis.”
London Councils recently appointed a new Rough Sleeping Programme Director, Michelle Binfield. You can read more about that story here.