Recommended changes to homelessness support services published

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health will consider a number of recommendations for changes to Homelessness Support Services at her Decision Day on 5 December 2018

Nov 16 2018

The recommendations (hyperlink) put forward by the Authority’s adult social care service follow an eight week public consultation which asked Hampshire residents and local community organisations for their views on proposals to move away from providing help for those with less critical needs, and to focus support on the most vulnerable - which would include 24/7 supported accommodation to meet the needs of people who are sleeping rough, or at risk of sleeping rough.

The recommendations reflect the extensive work undertaken with districts, who have the statutory responsibility for homelessness, to explore the options for how homelessness support could be organised in Hampshire within the funding available.  
Overall the recommendations would achieve savings of £1.8 million whilst a continued investment of £2.4 million would maintain services that provide support for the most vulnerable homeless people. 

The recommendations include:

Continuing support for people sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough either through intensive 24/7 supported accommodation and night shelter services which includes the Winchester Night Shelter, or other community based options
Continuing funding for some lower level supported housing in Hampshire districts that do not have intensive 24/7 services with a view to working with districts to develop these services to ensure that they are able to support people with more complex needs 
Continuing funding for community support for people who are moving on from intensive 24/7 services or those who are living in ‘moving on’ supported housing
Reducing the support for people with less critical needs.  Anyone affected would be provided with clear information regarding the alternative help available within their area.

Prior to Councillor Fairhurst’s Decision Day, the County Council’s Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee (HASC), comprising cross party members, will scrutinise the recommendations to determine whether they wish to make further suggestions for Councillor Fairhurst’s consideration.  

Commenting, Councillor Fairhurst said: “The recommendations I am due to consider, are being presented against the backdrop of unprecedented financial challenges. The County Council must meet a funding shortfall of £140 million by April 2019, £56 million of which needs to come from the adult social care budget. 
“While I am mindful that savings of this scale mean that the County Council must challenge the way it currently provides services and look at different ways to meet people’s needs, I will wish to ensure I have considered the findings from the public consultation in full, along with any recommendations from the HASC, before making a final decision on the future of the services.” 

Any agreed changes would come into effect on 1 August 2019.