Milton Keynes City Council is highlighting World Homeless Day (10 October) to raise awareness and share the work it is doing to tackle homelessness and end rough sleeping in MK for good.
Most recently, the City Council has opened a new shelter at the former bus station in Central Milton Keynes. Since opening, a secure home has been found for almost 30 rough sleepers, with nearly 90 people using the shelter. Former rough sleepers stay for a short period before accessing further assistance.
The reasons people become homeless are often complex and may be related to relationship breakdowns, family eviction or loss of private rented accommodation. MK City Council’s dedicated support team provides a vital service for people sleeping rough or those at risk of homelessness.
The Council has rolled out multiple initiatives in recent years to support rough sleepers and help them secure a life off the streets for good. As a result, the number of people sleeping rough in the city has dropped significantly, leaving a few entrenched rough sleepers who are visited daily and offered support by the Council’s outreach team.
Some of the other work the Council is doing to tackle homelessness and end rough sleeping includes:
Continued support for former rough sleepers – Last year the council bought 30 new homes for rough sleepers in the city. Council colleagues continue to work closely with these people, helping them with managing costs, mental health support and any other assistance they need.
Rent guarantee for landlords offering longer tenancies - Landlords in MK can now have their rent 100% guaranteed and receive up to £2,670 as a cash incentive for offering longer tenancies to families that have been made homeless by the current private rental sector.
Nightstop – National charity DePaul is helping the Council recruit local volunteers to take in those at risk of homelessness. Nightstop prevents young people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness from having to spend a night on the streets by placing them in the homes of volunteer hosts.
MK City Council encourages people to report anyone they think might be sleeping rough via Streetlink so support can be offered.
“World Homeless Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on the how hard it is for people and how we can provide the right level of help. No one in MK needs to be sleeping rough and our outreach team is out daily encouraging people to take up offers of accommodation. The new shelter is a brilliant asset and gives us the space to ensure that people are not faced with a night on the street. “I’m proud of the work we’re doing in this area which is giving people a genuine chance at living a healthy and happy life. My thanks go out to all colleagues and partners for the work they’re doing as we move towards ending rough sleeping for good in MK.”
- Cabinet Member for Adults, Housing and Healthy Communities, Cllr Emily Darlington