Assertive outreach is closely associated with the no

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Assertive outreach is closely associated with the ‘No Second Night Out’ principles that were set out in the 2011 Government strategy and Homeless Link guidance of the same name 3 . The core of the No Second Night Out approach is that each area should have a system in place whereby people new to rough sleeping are identified. They should be offered a place of safety where their needs can be assessed, from where they can be reconnected to the area where they are entitled to help. Any reconnection is to include an offer of accommodation, not simply a ticket home. Single service offers should: be credible and realistic, based on assessment include an offer of accommodation, whether locally or as a reconnection include the support required to ensure that the individual will not sleep rough in your area or elsewhere be acceptable to all services. This reduces the risk of an individual continuing to sleep rough with the expectation of getting a better offer. Once someone has a single service offer, commissioned homelessness services will not offer an alternative. 3
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Homeless Link Homelessness guidance for Mental Health Professionals 9 The views of a mental health professional may be very relevant in establishing what is a reasonable single service offer, including what sort of support is needed. If someone declines a single service offer, there may be a need to consider whether that decision is mentally capacitous, or whether mental health symptoms are impacting someone’s decision making. It may be that a person’s circumstances have changed and a mental health professional can help to make the case that the single service offer needs review. In London, No Second Night Out (NSNO) also refers to a GLA-funded, pan-London service. Anyone new to the streets found by an outreach team should be offered a place in one of three NSNO hubs across the capital. The shelter offered is very basic. The hubs should be considered as an assessment hub or waiting room, not accommodation; the aim is that people should move on as soon as possible. If someone is seen by mental health services while at No Second Night Out, decisions about whether to start any sort of treatment need to take into account the fact that they might not be there for very long. Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) While there is no legislation to protect people sleeping rough, there is an accepted protocol that when the weather is particularly cold or severe, Local Authorities should ensure that extra provision is available for people who are sleeping rough. 4 Provisions varies, for example B&B places, the floor of a hostel’s communal area, or a dormitory-style night shelter in a church hall. SWEP is a humanitarian response and should be available to anyone who needs it, without any barriers such as eligibility criteria around local connection or recourse to public funds. Each local authority decided when to
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  • Fall '19
  • Poverty, mental health professionals

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