No rough sleepers – but help is always available

No rough sleepers – but help is always available
13 December 2019

An annual count to determine the number of people sleeping rough in the borough of Darlington has concluded there was no one sleeping on the streets.

Each year the 12 local authorities in the North East Regional Homeless Group take part in a count on the same night to provide a snapshot of the numbers of people sleeping rough in the region.

This year, in Darlington, checks were carried out on two different nights, in September and November, between 1am and 4.30am at sites across the town centre and around West Park, Cockerton and the hospital.

Staff from Darlington Borough Council’s Housing Options team liaised with colleagues across council departments – such as housing, finance, social services and Streetscene – as well as the 700Club, other charities, NHS services, probation, police and other public bodies, to ensure they had as much information as possible ahead of the count.

The good news was no one was found sleeping rough, and further checks will be carried out in January and again in March.

Janette McMain, Darlington Borough Council’s, Housing Options manager, said:

“We’ve been working hard with our many partners to tackle homelessness in Darlington and that is reflected in the fact that the latest checks revealed no one was sleeping rough on the borough’s streets.

“However, we are not complacent and we know there are some people who are ‘sofa surfing’ and our message to them is to get in touch as help and support is available if they need it.

“Our ongoing work with partners includes Street Support, whereby council staff, the 700 Club and police regularly talk to anyone seen begging or who are vulnerable to offer support.

“Working with our partners, the council has also developed a Preventing Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy. We’ve also supported the national ‘No Second Night Out’ initiative since April last year and we work with the 700 Club to offer outreach support.

“No one needs to be sleeping rough in Darlington and we’d urge anyone who is facing homelessness to get in touch.”

If you know of a specific location where someone may be rough sleeping, email [email protected] so it can be included in the next count.

Anyone concerned about someone sleeping rough can call Streetlink 0300 500 0914 (24 hours)

If you are homeless tonight and need help go to Town Hall (during office hours), or out of hours call 01642 524552.

If you are worried about losing your home call 405333 to make an appointment with the Housing Options team.

For more information visit the website at: www.darlington.gov.uk/homelessness