Street Zero calls for Newcastle to join the countdown and end rough sleeping

Street Zero launched Count Me In – a campaign calling upon Newcastle residents and the business community to pledge their name online and show their collective support to end rough sleeping in the city.

Street Zero Chairman, Bob Eldridge MBE said, ‘Count Me In aims to unite the city by raising awareness and show that by working together we can end rough sleeping for good. We’re asking people to support by pledging their name online and join the countdown to zero. As the campaign launches, 100 people have already signed their name. 

‘By treating people with dignity, responding to their individual needs, and providing them with a long term safe and stable place to live, Newcastle can take action to help people transition to life away from the streets and sustain this change. It’s everyone’s business to end rough sleeping and It’s our aim that Newcastle will be the first UK City to do this by 2022.’

Over the next few months, as supporters pledge, they will see their name on Street Zero advertising across the city and on social media. Those sleeping on the streets will be able to see the number of people pledging and know they have the support of the city. 

Street Zero is a not-for-profit partnership between the public, business, charities, and private and third sector organisations that are committed to working together to help people rough sleeping reconnect and make the step change into independent living.

The partnership launched in 2018 and has pledged to reduce the number of people sleeping rough by 30% by the end of the year. It aims to achieve this by meeting the individual needs of people who sleep on the streets, giving people respect by treating people with kindness and honesty.

Bob added, ‘The root causes of why people find themselves sleeping rough can affect anyone at any stage of their life – be it a relationship breakdown, job loss, violence, health difficulties, mental health, and many other traumatic experiences. By improving our understanding of how and why people find themselves rough sleeping and listening to feedback from people rough sleeping, as well as learning from the frontline teams and sharing resources, we have a realistic chance to end rough sleeping.’

Street Zero has brought together experts from the full spectrum of support services across the city. Newcastle City Council and Your Homes Newcastle have invested in successfully reducing evictions which helps to avoid tenants from having to vacate their accommodation.

Bob said: ‘Our commitment is that everyone rough sleeping in Newcastle is offered accommodation or reconnection, where possible. We hope Count me in helps to unite the city with all coming together to say, ‘we can end rough sleeping for good.’