What is the Rough Sleeping Initiative?

The Rough Sleeping Initiative is a critical issue for organisations across the homelessness sector. And as the General Election looms, it’s more important than ever that we understand what the initiative is, and why it’s vital it is continued.

So, what is the Rough Sleeping Initiative?

The Rough Sleeping Initiative is a package of measures, including  a pot of funding allocated by the government to tackle rough sleeping.

It exists to provide targeted support for frontline services who work directly with people who are sleeping on the streets.

The Rough Sleeping Initiative directly funds frontline services like outreach

Who receives the funding?

Local authorities receive the funding and distribute it to local services and charities.

The initiative funds outreach teams, emergency accommodation and support workers. St Mungo’s has received part of this funding since its inception.

Why hasn’t homelessness reduced in line with this funding?

The cost of living crisis has soared in recent years, and this has put more people at risk of homelessness.

So much so that data released in April 2024 showed a 33% increase in rough sleeping numbers in London.

Moreover, the funding from the Rough Sleeping Initiative hasn’t increased in line with the rising demand for our services, and the increasing costs of running them.

When is it due to end?

The policy was implemented in 2018 with funding packages of different lengths. But with this package of funding starting in 2022; it is due to end in April 2025.

If it ends as planned, this puts thousands of people experiencing homelessness at serious risk, as their access to services could end abruptly.

What can be done about it?

We are campaigning for the Rough Sleeping Initiative to be extended and uplifted alongside wider critical Government funding. As a result, frontline workers like ours to meet the growing demand for our services.

The Rough Sleeping initiative is life saving funding for people experiencing homelessness

What can I do?

The General Election campaign period is our chance to influence party leaders and show them the issues we really care about.

Take action today and add your name to our open letter to political parties. The more names we have on the letter, the better our chances of influencing party leaders.

Sign the open letter

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