The newly-published figures for the annual rough sleeper count show that rough sleeping in Watford has halved compared to last year.
Six rough sleepers were found on the night of the count, which was carried out by Watford Borough Council, New Hope and Homeless Link – the independent organisation which monitors rough sleeper counts nationally.
Councillor Peter Taylor said: “Along with other councillors I took part in the rough sleeper count overnight. Taking part in this really brings home the depressing reality of rough sleeping and the determination of charities such as New Hope to improve the situation.
“This stable drop in the number of people rough sleeping in Watford is very good news. A big reason for this is the outstanding work that’s been going on in the town.
“We’ve developed a town-wide partnership, called the Watford Strategic Homelessness Forum, to help tackle rough sleeping. And the council’s partnership with our local homelessness charity New Hope has gone from strength to strength.
“But we mustn’t be complacent. One person sleeping rough is one person too many.”
CEO of New Hope Matthew Heasman added: “Strategic partnership working has been key to seeing a reduction in the number of people sleeping rough. New Hope’s latest initiative, the Intervention Team, is a government-funded initiative overseen by Watford Borough Council and delivered by a partnership between Change Grow Live, Citizens Advice, Herts Young Homeless and New Hope.
“By bringing these organisations together and providing joined-up expert help, we are able to give people a better chance to break the cycle of homelessness. Yet, the demand for our services remains high and we will continue to support men and women in Watford who are facing homelessness.”
If you see someone sleeping rough, call New Hope on 0300 012 0168.