Reducing rough sleeping and homelessness in Watford has been a priority of Mayor Peter Taylor since he first became Mayor in 2018. Over the last 4 years this figure has reduced significantly through the hard work of the council and various charitable organisations in the town.
Working with charities including One YMCA and New Hope, the council has been investing in a ‘single homeless pathway’ to tackle the root causes of homelessness and rough sleeping. This has included increasing the amount of addiction and mental health support available, providing more accommodation and funding outreach workers.
According to the government statistics, there were just 6 verified rough sleepers in Watford at the time of the annual rough sleeper count in 2021. In 2019 there were 19 rough sleepers at the annual count in Watford, but through investment in local services and a coordinated approach by several organisations, Watford has significantly reduced the number of people sleeping rough.
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said “I am incredibly proud of the work that has been done in Watford to reduce rough sleeping and homelessness. This is such a complex issue and we know that accommodation alone isn’t enough, that’s why we have invested in a programme that provides comprehensive support to those that find themselves sleeping rough.
“There is still work to be done, but I am committed to working with others to end to rough sleeping in Watford. We must never reach a point where we accept rough sleeping as a fact of life in our town. Ending rough sleeping in Watford will be a key manifesto commitment of mine for the next four years, should the people of Watford choose to put their faith in my leadership once again in May.”
Rough sleeping snapshot in England: Autumn 2021:
The most recent figures for Watford were:
2019 – 19 rough sleepers
2020 – 8 rough sleepers
2021 – 6 rough sleepers