Since the launch of the Commission at the end of March the Advisory Board has met three times. The Board have discussed consensus about what has worked well in the ongoing pandemic response for rough sleepers and what some of the more complex issues might be going ahead. In May the Board discussed the early findings from the evidence gathering stage, which invited organisations to submit their views on what did and didn’t work, the challenges, and what needs to be embedded for the future. In July the Board discussed the recommendations to come out of the evidence gathering to inform the Commission’s interim report.
The Kerslake Commission have now published their interim report When We Work Together – learning the lessons. Based on the evidence received and expertise, it sends a clear message that the Government must learn from the success of the Covid-19 response and continue the increased investment in homelessness services to avoid a post pandemic surge in rough sleeping.
The Commission has concluded the Government needs to maintain the additional funding that it made available during the pandemic – equating to £82m a year on top of its previous spending commitment – if it is to have any chance of achieving its pre-election promise to end rough sleeping by the end of this parliament.
In total the report makes 22 recommendations around increased funding for homeless services, changes to the welfare system, partnership working across agencies involved in supporting those rough sleeping or at risk of homelessness, the increased involvement of health services in solutions for people experiencing homelessness and a tailored approach for women, young people and those with no recourse to public funds.
Thanks to everyone who submitted evidence. The Kerslake Commission received more than 100 evidence submissions from local authorities, from people with lived experience of homelessness and of sleeping rough, as well as from and health, housing and homelessness organisations.
A key part of the Kerslake Commission’s work is examining the relationship between health and homelessness. In this video, Lord Victor Adebowale, Chair of the NHS Confederation, discusses the link between them, the effects of the pandemic and structural changes to the NHS on healthcare for those experiencing homelessness, and thoughts for the future.