No second night out: a vision to end rough sleeping
Event support manager Geraldine Chaplin gives an overview of last week's webinar focusing on the No Second Night Out project to tackle rough sleeping, with case studies from Riverside ECHG.Last week the CIH events team ran their first webinar focusing on No second night out - A vision to end rough sleeping (NSNO), in conjunction with the Department for Communities and Local Government and Riverside ECHG. The webinar featured speakers from both organisations, including Helen Keats, DCLG, Mark Nightall, Riverside ECHG and Eleanor Smith from the Manchester division of Riverside ECHG.
NSNO was launched in London and since then has been extended nationally with local authorities encouraged to implement strategies in areas with significant rough sleeper estimates or counts. This ensures a rapid response to new rough sleepers, so that they do not have to sleep out for a second night. Backing this up is grant funding, which is being distributed as part of an £8m pot awarded by the Homelessness Transition Fund.
The event began with a presentation from Helen who looked at the latest homelessness statistics and introduced the NSNO project. NSNO is a credible alternative to returning to rough sleeping, in many cases involving reconnection to a home area. New rough sleepers are referred to a 24 hour hub, where their needs are assessed and an alternative is offered. The number of new rough sleepers recorded between 1 March 2011 and 30 April 2011 was 397, of whom 265 (67%) were prevented from spending a second night out. In the same period this year 515 (77%) people spent just one night sleeping rough, even though the total number of new rough sleepers increased by 68%.
Mark then went on to explain how Riverside ECHG, a registered provider with experience of homelessness, can give advice and tips on delivering a NSNO. He talked in depth about the 24-hour assessment hub facility and their dedicated 24-hour telephone rough sleeping phone line and website.
Eleanor then finished up the event with a presentation on the NSNO scheme in Manchester, how it was launched, how the scheme is staffed and how they have worked in partnership to get the scheme up and running. She explained how they began with 10 Local Authorities with very different needs and different levels of service for rough sleepers, and how Homeless link brought the authorities together. She also went into a lot of detail about their marketing strategy for the scheme. Initially, Riverside ECHG looked at using the traditional image of rough sleepers – doorways and dark images – but this was NSNO and not entrenched rough sleepers, and so a new way of communicating with the general public was needed. Because it is the public that report the rough sleepers, their strategy consisted of different methods of communication including social media, posters and QR codes.
The delegates at the webinar all got involved with several asking questions and raising points for discussion. Feedback from the event has been very positive with one delegate saying:
"My only comment is that the webinar was fantastic. I feel webinars in general are a great way to inform the public, professionals, businesses or other relevant bodies about a topic. I would definitely attend a webinar event again."
CIH will be hosting more webinars in the future - if you have any suggestions on themes you would like covered then please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, if you are interested in receiving the slides from this event email email@example.com.