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Maldon District Council shares award for initiative to help homeless people

Published on Friday, 11th November 2022

The team being presented with the award

The Mid-Essex Rough Sleeper Initiative Outreach Service (RSI), co-founded by Maldon District Council, won the Working in Partnership Award at the Essex Housing Awards 2022 last week [November 3].

The initiative, originally a joint project set up by Maldon District and Chelmsford City Councils, was so successful that its work rapidly expanded, and the award-winning partnership now includes Essex County Council and housing authorities across the region, including Braintree, Epping, Tendring and Uttlesford.

Achievements by the RSI include the funding of a Rough Sleeper Navigator, who supports unsheltered people throughout Maldon, Rochford and Castlepoint districts, along with a seven days a week emergency response from CHESS Homeless who reach out to rough sleepers reported through the Streetlink system. The partnership with CHESS also includes being able to offer rough sleepers temporary bed space in CHESS’s homeless accommodation.

The judges recognised the RSI’s hard work during the Everyone In response to the pandemic, when local authorities worked with the common goal of offering accommodation to all rough sleepers and those in very vulnerable housing situations. For many, this resulted not only in permanent offers of accommodation but also gave an opportunity to engage with substance misuse programmes and access help for physical and mental health problems, including access to the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Councillor Penny Channer, Leader of Maldon District Council, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in The Mid-Essex Rough Sleeper Initiative Outreach Service, who have worked tirelessly to reach and engage with those who have found it difficult to navigate housing, health and mental health services. This partnership has delivered lasting change and created a robust system where vulnerable individuals can be identified and assisted quickly.

“As we start the winter, it is reassuring to know that this award-winning partnership continues to work closely to support single homeless people, who often present with multiple complex needs, and our Rough Sleeper Navigator is on hand to offer support and guidance to those who find themselves in this difficult situation. I am very proud of this award and the recognition of what this team has achieved.”

The Award was presented by Steven Kay, Partner and Head of the Housebuilder Team at Birketts, at a ceremony in Stock, compered by BBC News Home Editor Mark Easton.