Fewer people on the streets thanks to council support

The number of rough sleepers in Mansfield has dropped significantly thanks to innovative measures introduced by Mansfield District Council.

The annual street count, which took place last month (October 2020), found seven rough sleepers in the district – down from 22 in 2019.

This success is the result of the council helping to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place and working with partner organisations to provide accommodation and specialist support for those living on the streets.

Those at risk of becoming homeless are urged to contact the council at the earliest opportunity for help and advice. Support is available to help with rent or mortgage arrears and to find alternative accommodation.

Eight of Mansfield’s most entrenched rough sleepers have recently secured their own tenancies as part of the council’s innovative First Steps project. Financed by £310,628 from the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative, the council works in partnership with Action Housing and Change Grow Live (CGL) to provide accommodation alongside intensive support for complex issues such as mental health and substance misuse. A further 12 bed spaces will become available in the next two months.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the council is working with the YMCA to provide self-contained accommodation for rough sleepers throughout the winter in place of a shelter. Bed spaces will be available in the YMCA’s supported accommodation and in the council’s own temporary accommodation. Framework’s Street Outreach Team and the council’s Housing Solutions team will ensure all known rough sleepers and anyone who presents as homeless in the coming weeks are aware of the referral process for a bed over the winter and in the event of severe weather. 

Councillor Marion Bradshaw, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, Housing and Wellbeing said: “We are pleased that a number of rough sleepers have embraced the support being offered by the council and its partners and made a commitment to create a better future for themselves. 

“There is no need for anybody to be homeless in Mansfield this winter as a wealth of advice and practical help is available. I’d strongly urge anyone who is experiencing difficulties to get in touch as soon as they can so we can work with them.”  

If you see anyone sleeping rough in the district, contact Framework’s Street Outreach 24-hour hotline on 0800 066 5356 or via www.streetlink.org.uk to ensure they are offered the necessary support.

Visit www.mansfieldstreetsupport.co.uk to find out how best to help rough sleepers in a long term and sustainable way, rather than through giving cash. It is more beneficial to donate money, non-perishable food or warm clothing to an existing organisation.

Published 21 November 2020.

Give up your time to help Mansfield's homeless community

If you want to help Mansfield's homeless community, one of the best ways is to give your time....

Mansfield's Winter Night Shelter, which will be open seven nights a week from 1 December to the end of February, is looking for volunteers to support the staff who will work there during the night.

Extra help is needed each evening from 8pm to 10pm to help set up and from 6am to 8am each morning to help tidy away. Duties could include signing people in, getting bedding ready and serving food and drinks.

Mansfield District Council is working with local churches and Derby City Mission to expand the night shelter so it will be open for a total of 90 nights - an increase from the 54 nights it was open last year.

There are currently five venues confirmed to host the night shelter on a rota basis - The Stanhope Centre, The Beacon, Chesterfield Road South Methodist Church, Mansfield Baptist Church and St Mark's Church.

Volunteers don't need any experience or qualifications as full training will be provided. Volunteers can attend one of two training sessions - on 8 November at the Baptist Church, Rosemary Street, at 6.30pm or 15 November at Chesterfield Road South Methodist Church at 6.30pm. To volunteer, call 07814541643 / 07983506037, email homelessenquiries@mansfield.gov.uk or just turn up to one of the sessions.  

If you see someone who is homeless, please contact the Framework Street Outreach 24-hour hotline on 0800 066 5356, to ensure they are offered the necessary support.

Published 26 October 2018.

Mamba seminar

More than 50 people from a variety of organisations attended a seminar to hear what Mansfield is doing to tackle Mamba and to share their own experiences and ideas.

Mansfield District Council, in conjunction with Bassetlaw District Council, hosted a learning workshop - 'Mamba and our towns: what is working and where are the gaps? - at Mansfield Civic Centre yesterday (4 October). Following its great success, there are plans for other similar events in the future.

The seminar attracted representatives from various agencies including the Police, NHS, Framework, Change Grow Live (CGL), plus representatives from Leeds City Council's street outreach team.

The aim of the event was to share experiences and ideas on how to tackle the issue. There were presentations on outreach work, police enforcement and the challenges faced including the high level of mental health issues among the street community. 

Following the workshop, a report summarising the day will be created and presented to the chief executives of the various organisations that attended. 

Published 5 October 2018

Innovative plans to tackle Mamba use in Mansfield

Mansfield District Council has become the first council in Nottinghamshire to take an innovative new approach to tackling antisocial behaviour caused by the drug Mamba.

The council already has both homeless and mental health outreach workers helping members of the street community, but from this week they have been joined by an officer dedicated to dealing with substance misuse.

This ground-breaking approach aims to break the cycle of dependence on Mamba and Spice as well as other drugs and alcohol, tackle the root causes of substance misuse and encourage users to make permanent changes to their lifestyle.

The council has been working with the Police, and other partners including Framework, Change Grow Live (CGL) and Mansfield Homeless Network, in a bid to resolve the unprecedented issue of antisocial behaviour related to Mamba use in Mansfield Town Centre over this last year.

The outreach workers get to know each individual so that they can offer tailored support in order to make life changes that will help the community by reducing antisocial behaviour and dependency on services.

Changing long-standing habits is complicated and the first thing needed is willingness on the part of drug users to accept help and a desire to beat their addictions. This is one of the many difficulties faced by the outreach workers as their help is often turned down. 

As well as the help and support for users, there are more police officers and Neighbourhood Wardens working in the Town Centre than ever before. The Police have one sergeant, six constables and four (soon increasing to six) PCSOs dedicated to the town centre issues. They are working closely with the council's Neighbourhood Wardens, Antisocial Behaviour officers, CCTV and Legal teams.   

As of 14 September, the joint police and council town team have made, 43 arrests and issued 116 Direction To Leave notices. 

A drugs warrant conducted in the town centre last week resulted in two people being dealt with for possession of drugs. All this enforcement work will continue to send out the same message - that antisocial behaviour on the streets of Mansfield will not be tolerated. 

If you are concerned about someone who appears to be homeless, please contact Framework on 0800 066 5356. Report any criminal activity on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Published 19 September 2018