A Rough Sleeper Count is carried out in Ipswich every two months but the annual count, overseen by the Homeless Link charity, takes place in November and is then published along with data from other council areas across the country.
The counts are a snapshot and can give the Council a picture of which individuals need help and from whom.
The aim of the Rough Sleeper project is to relieve and prevent rough sleeping through a partnership approach, offering a wide range of help and support as well as 13 emergency bed spaces – an additional 12 supplied by the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter between November and March.
Partnership is what it is all about when it comes to meeting the needs of homeless people. The Borough Council, Anglia Care Trust, Ipswich Housing Action Group, Notting Hill Genesis, Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Selig Trust, work closely with Suffolk Police, Probation, HMP Prisons, Turning Point and Health Outreach and a range of other agencies and housing providers.
We have seen a big reduction in our annual rough sleeper count figures, from 26 to 11 last year.
Members of the public can also play their part. If anyone sees anybody rough sleeping in Ipswich they can inform us through https://www.streetlink.org.uk/ or RoughSleeping.Enquiries@ipswich.gov.uk People can also visit https://www.homeless.org.uk/search/site/rough%20sleeper%20count to find out more about annual counts and why they happen.