Plan to Tackle Homelessness in Oxford
2 July 2012, 06:00
Rough sleepers in Oxford are being offered more help as a campaign starts to make sure they don't spend more than one night on the streets.
No Second Night Out is a programme that will significantly change in the way Oxford City Council responds to rough sleeping in the city.
The campaign is being rolled out nationally with the support of the umbrella organisation Homeless Link.
The council hopes that by the end of 2012 no rough sleeper will have spent more than one night homeless.
As part of the scheme the council will provide a single service to provide suitable accommodation and help people reconnect with their family or community.
The No Second Night Out initiative says that while there may be many reasons why somebody sleeps rough for one night there is no reason why they need to spend a second night on the streets.
Councillor Scott Seamons, Board Member for Housing, says: "We feel passionate about ending rough sleeping by this year; however this can only be achieved with the help of our local partners and the general public.
"Officers will be identifying and helping rough sleepers off the streets and either reconnecting them to their own community or providing them with assistance within the city."
Mark McPherson, Director of Practice and Regions at Homeless Link, says: “Every night, someone sleeps rough for the first time. We know that the longer they stay out, the worse their problems can get and the harder they can be to overcome.
"A life on the streets can lead to substance misuse, crime and serious physical or mental health problems."
There are three hostels in the city that provide beds for rough sleepers – Lucy Faithfull House, O’Hanlon House and Simon House.
Since London started the campaign 70% of rough sleepers do not return to the streets.
If people suspect someone is sleeping rough they can contact the team on 01865 304 611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org