Less people sleeping rough in Weymouth and Portland

Less people sleeping rough in Weymouth and Portland

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:49am 18th December 2019.

There's been a sharp drop in the number of rough sleepers in Weymouth and Portland.

The number's fallen drastically from 18 rough sleepers last year to 6.

Across the county, the number has halved. In 2018 there were 38 rough sleepers - now there are 18.

Dorset Council is bidding for more government funding to support them.

Photo of beds at Safe Sleep

Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, Dorset Council Housing and Community Safety Brief holder said:

"A lot of work has been done to reduce homelessness in Dorset.

"Rough sleeping has halved in a year.

"This is good news, although more work still needs to be done, and is being done."

Last year the council secured £250k in the 'Navigator Scheme' which guides rough sleepers through support and helps them find housing.  he money has also been used to expand a supported lettings scheme, which helps rough sleepers secure tenancies.

Dorset Council also runs a ‘Housing First’ Programme which offers permanent, affordable housing to people who have been homeless multiple times and who have not succeeded with traditional support.

The service supports 11 individuals across Dorset, helping them access health and community services, which reduces their risk of becoming homeless again.


Photo of two Safe Sleep volunteers serving food

The council works with agencies, such as the Lantern Trust and the Bus Shelter in Weymouth to deliver schemes like ‘Safe Sleep’ that help rough sleepers. Safe Sleep sees beds and hot food provided in some Weymouth churches. It is organised by the Lantern Trust, Churches of Weymouth and Portland and Julian House, on behalf of Dorset Council.

During cold weather extra support is provided for rough sleepers. Dorset Council's Severe Weather Emergency Protocol takes people off the streets and provides them with temporary accommodation.

If have any concerns about someone sleeping rough you can report them at streetlink.org or if you've got immediate worries for someone's safety - call 999.