New project launched to help Harrogate’s rough sleepers

(L-R) Councillor Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Liz Hancock, chief executive of Harrogate Homeless Project, and Deby Atkinson, the project leader of SAFE, launching the new Harrogate Homeless Project scheme aimed at helping entrenched rough sleepers in the Harrogate district.
(L-R) Councillor Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Liz Hancock, chief executive of Harrogate Homeless Project, and Deby Atkinson, the project leader of SAFE, launching the new Harrogate Homeless Project scheme aimed at helping entrenched rough sleepers in the Harrogate district.

A new way of helping people sleeping rough in Harrogate has been launched by the Harrogate Homeless Project.

SAFE (Service for Adults Facing Exclusion) is a new approach to helping entrenched rough sleepers in the Harrogate district.

Whilst Harrogate Homeless Project is able to assist many people who find themselves homeless through their hostel and the No Second Night Out initiative, there are some rough sleepers who have a long history of ineffective contact with the services who are trying to assist them. As a result they are unable to get the help they need. SAFE will offer a flexible approach for entrenched rough sleepers who are over 25 years old and have multiple complex needs.

Through one-to-one contact with a project leader, tailored solutions will be developed for the most marginalised, hardest to reach, vulnerable individuals.

The new project will receive £30,000 per year in funding from Harrogate Borough Council for the next five years.

Coun Richard Cooper, Harrogate Borough Council Leader said: “SAFE is an extremely important and worthwhile project which will provide much needed help for some of the district’s most vulnerable people.

“It is easy to see a rough sleeper and wonder why they have not been found a home. Indeed I have thought that myself on many occasions. But upon talking to friends at the Harrogate Homeless Project I realised that many had been found a home. But because deep-seated problems of addiction, poor mental health and family breakdown had not been addressed they simply could not cope with the responsibility of a home and were soon back on the streets. It is cruel to set vulnerable people up to fail but that is what we, as a society and with the best of motives, have sometimes done.”

Liz Hancock, Harrogate Homeless Project Chief Executive, said: “We know that some people experience enduring homelessness, often due to complex support needs which cannot always be helped in the best way in existing services. The SAFE project will be a collaboration of different agencies working together, led by HHP, to provide life changing support over a sustained period.”