Rise in rough sleeping a cause for concern
CIH Cymru called on the sector to continue building a collaborative response, and for Welsh Government to support efforts towards approaches like Housing First
The number of people sleeping rough in Wales continues to be a real cause for concern and will continue to require a collaborative response across public services. Whilst the increase appears stark, this is in part a result of better information gathering through working with the public and the rough sleeping community to identify and monitor rough sleeping locations and an increase in the teams conducting the count compared to the previous year. Whilst we welcome this improved approach aimed at getting a clearer picture or rough sleeping in Wales, any rise, however large or small is a call to action for organisations across public services to act now to reduce and aim to eradicate the need for rough sleeping.
Last week’s homelessness statistics showed that an increasing number of households are being assessed as at risk of homelessness. Whilst Local Authority homelessness teams and their partners continue to take positive action, working closely with individuals to find a solution to their homelessness situation, we cannot ignore the pressures placed on people through changes to welfare that risk increasing demand further.
It is therefore more important than ever that the Welsh Government supports efforts towards approaches such as Housing First where housing is the first step followed by support to meet individual needs and aspirations.