Council response to homeless protest ending
A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said:
“Our priority is assisting people who need accommodation and support on a daily basis. This was available throughout the protest and would have been provided to anyone that needed it regardless of the protest, making tent city unnecessary.
“It takes significant commitment and resources to work with people who have mental health issues or problems with addictions that act as a barrier to people accepting the help they need. The council and our partners will continue to offer this support to vulnerable people on a daily basis.
“Of the people assessed by the street outreach and Leeds housing options teams, 15 already had accommodation and we’ve provided advice and support to ensure people can stay in these homes. Another 10 people were homeless or in temporary accommodation. We’ve arranged a place to stay for all of these individuals and will provide ongoing support so they can maintain their tenancies.
“A further six people have refused all offers of help or we were unable to provide direct support due to their status in this country. We’ve put these people in contact with organisations who can help.
“The ultimate aim of the protesters, council and our partners have been met and we’ve been able to help people in need. We hope this demonstrates what can be achieved by working constructively and positively with those that provide services rather than working against us. Anyone who is worried about becoming homeless can head to the Leeds housing options office or call us to arrange an assessment over the phone.”
Only with consistent outreach can we provide assistance to those with complex needs and addictions – accommodation is only one part of the issue.
We will always make an offer of accommodation to those that need it, but due to complex needs, some people will refuse this help.
We conduct a rough sleepers count based on national methodology every year, and figures on all of the cases we deal with are available on Data Mill North – Leeds Housing Options enquiries and homelessness quarterly return: between Jan and Jul 2016, Leeds Housing Options helped over 8,600 people.
Our up to date homelessness strategy is available on our website: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/pages/homelessness.aspx