Street homelessness, or ‘rough sleeping’ as it is commonly called, is deeply damaging to those experiencing it and to society at large. There is a shared and laudable ambition across the political parties to end rough sleeping and homelessness for good.
The Kerslake Commission 2021:
A New Way of Working: Ending Rough Sleeping Together
In its 2019 General Election manifesto, the Conservative Party committed to ending rough sleeping by 2024. The monumental effort during the pandemic to get ‘everyone in’ has shown that this is possible and has redefined what can be achieved when all partners work together towards a singular shared goal. It is pivotal that the good work during this period is embedded into the system, so that this is not confined to a crisis response, but creates long term lasting change.
The Kerslake Commission was created to examine the lessons from the unprecedented public emergency response to rough sleeping, which has become known as the Everyone In initiative.
According to Government estimates, 37,000 individuals were brought inside during the emergency response, with more than 26,000 already moved on into longer-term accommodation.
The Kerslake Commission’s Final Report has examined what system change is needed to embed the lessons learnt from the emergency response to rough sleeping, addressing both the positives and the problems exacerbated by the pandemic. Importantly, the report also highlights recommendations called for prior to the pandemic, which remain fundamental to the goal of ending rough sleeping. In many ways, the pandemic has acted as a platform to take forward lessons previously learnt. These must not be forgotten.