Rumours that Thames Reach
were going to lose some of their funding from Westminster Council were proved true recently.
James Francis, their head of street and hostel services, made this statement to The Pavement
:"Thames Reach's street-based outreach contract with the City Council to respond to the needs of long-term rough sleepers in Westminster ends on 31st March, and is not being extended. Thames Reach has been part of the 'building based services' partnership since the outset and had planned to reduce the streetwork we do for Westminster City Council as the balance of resources being spent on streetwork shifts more to day centres. Our team has out-performed the council's targets set in the contract and we are pleased with what we have been able to achieve. The council's wider strategy is to now focus resources into day centres and 'building based services'. In this sense the demise of our specialist Westminster outreach team is a natural and expected consequence of that approach. We will not be losing the expertise that we have gained through this work and continue to work with rough sleepers who are referred into our hostels and support projects in Westminster.
"Thames Reach will not, therefore, be part of the building-based contract into 2007-8, but will continue to work towards ending street homelessness through its London Street Rescue teams which undertake outreach work throughout the M25 area and has recently been extended with additional money from the Treasury to provide support to the London Ambulance Service and local hospital Accident & Emergency Departments."