No second night out
The Mayor of London made a commitment to end rough sleeping in the capital by the end of 2012. He proposes that no one will have to live on the streets of London and no individual arriving on the streets will sleep out for a second night.
The London Delivery Board (LDB) has set up the pilot scheme No Second Night Out (NSNO) which focuses on helping those who find themselves sleeping rough in the capital for the first time. NSNO aims to ensure a rapid response to the needs of new rough sleepers, and aims to provide an offer that means they do not have to sleep out for a second night.
The pilot started in April 2011 focussing on Camden, City of London, Tower Hamlets, Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Brent and Southwark. This was designed to last 6 months but has subsequently been extended.
The scheme works through outreach work and a new Assessment Hub open 24/7. Anyone can call the telephone helpline or make an online referral. For most people the offer of help will be to return them to their home area, reconnecting with family and support networks.
This will not be appropriate for anyone other than those sleeping out for the first night who want to return home.
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Clearly this is not relevant for the majority of the people the Simon Community sees but it is useful for anyone we come across who fits the criteria and who wants to go back where they came from. We should not be put off by the slightly Orwellian and sinister-sounding term: reconnection.
We will be watching the progress of NSNO and will be particularly interested in the evaluation of the project and will report back over the coming months.