Number of rough sleepers in Winchester falls

Press Release: 25/11/2015

Rough Sleeper

The number of people sleeping rough in Winchester in 2015 has fallen compared with last year according to the annual count conducted earlier this month.

The City Council’s housing options team, working with partner agencies and supported by elected councillors and colleagues, carried out the count on Thursday 19 November.

Five rough sleepers were identified. This represents a reduction of nine on the previous year.
Four of those found are known entrenched rough sleepers and the City Council will continue to try to resolve their homelessness in partnership with support agencies. The Council is working to engage with the rough sleeper who is not known to services through an outreach officer.

The count is a snapshot of the number of rough sleepers in any given area on a particular night and is intended to be indicative of rough-sleeping levels.

The count was carried out between the hours of 2am and 4am and the locations searched were based on historical and current intelligence in partnership with the police, Community Safety Team, Winchester Nightshelter and the Trinity Centre.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) definition of those who should be included in the count is:

People sleeping, about to bed down (sitting on/in or standing next to their bedding) or actually bedded down in the open air (such as on the streets, in tents, doorways, parks, bus shelters or encampments). People in buildings or other places not designed for habitation (such as stairwells, barns, sheds, car parks, cars, derelict boats, stations, or “bashes”).

The rough-sleeping figure is reported to Central Government and assists with the planning of future services.

Cllr Caroline Horrill, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said:

It is welcome news that the number of rough sleepers in Winchester has decreased since the last annual count.

But one person sleeping rough is one too many and our team and partner agencies will continue to do all they can to resolve issues of homelessness.