Select a Category

Three years of funding secured to help prevent rough sleeping

Over £1,300,000 extra funding has been secured by the council for the next three years to help people off the streets and to maintain their support and accommodation.

£1,327,555 has been awarded to City of York Council for 2022/23 from the Department of Housing and Levelling Up as part of their Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI). This will allow the council and partners to continue to offer people who have or who are sleeping on the streets the tailored support they need to help them into safer and lasting accommodation.

Much of this RSI-funded work in York is done by a specialist team of workers employed by the council, known as Rough Sleeper Housing Navigators. They immediately follow up any reports of people sleeping rough by finding them and offering support. They also provide ongoing and intensive support to known rough sleepers, as well as to former rough sleepers who have moved into accommodation and who are working towards taking on a tenancy of their own.

Our navigators are among a range of teams that support hundreds of people each year into more stable, long-term housing by working with their individual needs and tailoring support to do this as quickly as possible. These include teams who carry out street walks to identify people sleeping rough, teams who provide them with support and accommodation, and partners who provide drop-in sessions for single homeless people as part of our early help and prevention work. Changing Lives will continue to support rough sleepers needing help with substance misuse and to improve their mental health.

Whether the problem is mental health, dealing with drug or alcohol abuse, relationship breakdown or poverty, the right support at the right pace for the individual is offered. This aims to help each individual into suitable accommodation and to offer them a tailored package of support.

Once they’re working with us and our partners, we can look to address each person’s needs, including getting benefits in place, training for work, budgeting and tenancy management, before helping them into permanent stable accommodation.

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Communities said: “People’s average life expectancy plummets from 83 to 47 years when they live on the streets, so we are doing all we can to develop new ways of getting them off the streets. This funding is a welcome addition to our continuing work to prevent homelessness and to help more people out of rough sleeping.

“This funding will be used to support ongoing work to prevent people resorting to unsafe sleeping outdoors, while also developing new ways of addressing the individual needs of each person we work with.

“The three-year award also complements our investment in providing high levels of support for people with complex needs – such as substance abuse and mental ill health – to help them to live independently and well, and to avoid them ending up back on the street.”

Donna Kennelly, Service Manager at Changing Lives, said: “Local RSI funding has enabled Changing Lives to double the capacity of our MEAM (Making Every Adult Matter) team in York. The team works in partnership with other agencies supporting those who are living complex lives in challenging circumstances to make positive, sustainable changes to their lives.

“The team provides intensive tailored support to individuals facing multiple disadvantages, including entrenched rough sleepers, those experiencing mental ill health, substance misuse issues and contact with the criminal justice system. The RSI funding received has been vital in allowing the team to expand on the work they do alongside partners in the city.”

For more information, please visit

If you see someone sleeping outdoors, please call the StreetLink national rough sleeper reporting line on 0300 5000 914. They will notify us so we can offer help.