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Support for rough sleepers and Tent City

Updated 31 January 2017

Sheffield City Council was granted a court order to gain possession of Tent City at Park Hill (on 25.01.2017) and asked people to leave with their possessions. The camp was cleared on 30 January.

The authority did this as:

  • Tent city was not safe
  • Everyone staying at Tent City either had somewhere to stay, had left accommodation or had declined it. Everyone was asked if they needed further support, and we will continue to offer this.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Housing, explained: “I know lots of people are concerned about rough sleepers and the help that is available for them, and wanted to explain what we’re doing and why.

“We didn’t think Tent City was a safe place to stay. We had real safeguarding concerns about the site and do not want it to attract vulnerable people who can get support and accommodation from established services.

“Outreach workers from the council and local charities spent a lot of time at Tent City and, to the very best of our knowledge, everyone sleeping there either had somewhere to stay or had been offered accommodation.

“We will continue to offer support to anyone sleeping rough in Sheffield and ask that people contact us if they’re worried about someone.”

Tim Renshaw, Chief Executive Officer from the Cathedral Archer project, added “At the Cathedral Archer Project we have worked over many years with people who are homeless, including those sleeping rough. We are convinced that a single place for rough sleepers to meet and sleep at will never work. The reasons people become rough sleepers are complex but they include the need to get away from other people facing the same problems, to avoid being bullied or people they may owe money to, or even those they simply do not like. It may be a human response to set up a tent city but it is also straightforward human behaviour that means it isn’t the answer we need to address rough sleeping.

“All the research around homelessness, and our own experience, shows that supporting people to overcome homelessness is a steady process of consistent support and understanding, with each individual setting their own goals and receiving the right support to meet them. A place to stay and exist like Tent City, regardless of good intentions, can, at best, only keep people in poverty. At worst it adds to a person’s deterioration and makes the well documented shorter life span of homeless people a reality.

“We want people to understand and help people who are homeless, at its simplest this is helping homeless people to engage with agencies and services that are proven to provide long term answers.”

What to do if you’re worried about someone sleeping rough:

If you’re worried about someone sleeping rough please contact the city’s rough sleeper service on 0114 263 6964 so they can offer accommodation and support. During evenings and weekends please phone the council’s out of hours housing solution service on 0800 7311 689.

How else you can help:

There are lots of local charities and services in Sheffield working together to provide support for people, seven days a week. Information about the different ways of helping is available at www.helpushelp.uk/