Councillor Jan Sargent has recently spent time with borough’s services that help home Havering’s rough sleepers.
Today she writes for the Havering Daily.
To gain an insight into why Havering has rough sleeper’s and to learn which services are out there to help, Councillor Christine Smith and I spent the morning in Romford with Denise Reece who is Havering Council’s Rough Sleeper’s Housing Solutions Officer.
An extremely heartbreaking and frustrating morning. A very complex situation. It soon became apparent that each person came with very different sets of problems. I couldn’t begin to cover all of them but
it was clear to see that Denise is very passionate in trying her best to find a solution to suit each one.
You could see by each person’s reaction that they were very pleased to see her. We came away reassured that if accepted they will get the help they need. She is not only working with the individuals but also working with local and adjoining authorities to make sure they receive as much help as possible.
They also work very closely with landlords, charities and churches in the area.She has a team of what she called “indicators” who help and direct people into different services. Sometimes it’s just a case that the person hasn’t any ID.
In some cases the department will need to pay for the person to apply for their passport or proof of Identification etc. A vital document needed for a long term solution. This is just one of the very many services she organises.
The Romford Salvation Army also play a very large part in helping with providing advice, information, washing facilities and food. They are also trying to set up medical and psychological services there too. We have so much more to learn.
I’m going to ask to meet ‘Dave’ who organises the Salvation Army drop in service. Lots to think about.
If you have seen or are concerned that someone may be rough sleeping please call 0300 500 0914.