Like many other cities Leeds acknowledges that it needs to do more to support and safeguard those who rough sleep, beg or are homeless. This a whole city issue – inappropriate street use can negatively impact on residents, businesses, visitors, commuters and most importantly street users themselves.
A new partnership approach across the city is being developed to tackle the issues we have. There are three core strands being developed as part of this: Street Support, the homeless charter and the Big Change.
Street Support team is an integrated, multidisciplinary team approach which will use case a management system to ensure those people with the highest levels of need receive bespoke support and relevant safeguards and, where appropriate, enforcement. The team aims to reduce the numbers of those rough sleeping in Leeds city centre and tackle issues such as begging and anti-social behaviour among street users.
Leeds Homeless Charter brings together commissioned services from a range of providers including the council, grassroots groups operating on the street and businesses as well as people with lived experience to help develop a set of principles and actions to tackle homelessness in Leeds.
Big Change Leeds seeks to permanently change the way those who are homeless or rough sleeping are supported by those wishing to help. By asking people to donate items, time or money to an independent fund, rather than directly to those on the streets, Big Change aims to reduce the impact begging has on our streets and enable those in need to move away from street life.
These initiatives will be launched in the Autumn with further information to follow.