Campaign to stop people sleeping rough in Northampton brings together key groups for conference

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Library picture

An action plan to tackle homelessness in Northampton will be developed today at a special summit in the Guildhall.

More than 50 people, representating more than 30 organisations, are discussing a new strategy put forward by Northampton Borough Council, called Together We Change Lives.

The aim is to reduce the number of people sleeping rough in the town to zero.

The three-year action plan includes:

* Setting up a night shelter

* Reviewing the way food, blankets and sleeping bags are distributed

* Working with prisons, hospitals, supported housing and social landlords

* Improving communications and information sharing

* Developing comprehensive support plans

* Volunteering, training and employment.

Councillor Mary Markham, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “Rough sleeping is a very complex and difficult issue to deal with. I have been impressed and inspired by the work that is being done and the difference it is making to people’s lives. It has been fantastic to see what can be achieved when services work, develop and improve together.”

Councillor Stephen Hibbert, cabinet member for housing, said: “This is an ambitious multi-agency strategy to achieve our goal of ending the need for people to sleep rough in Northampton. Sleeping rough is dangerous and we want to work together in partnership to help build brighter futures for people who sleep rough.”

A copy of the new strategy, Together We Change Lives, can be viewed online at: http://www.northampton.gov.uk/downloads/download/3181/northampton-homlessness-strategy