There is growing national and local evidence that a small cohort of adults in our communities is likely to experience ‘severe and multiple deprivation’ (SMD cohort), including substance misuse, homelessness, offending and mental health problems. They are likely to have ineffective contact with services that are often designed to deal with one problem at a time, and so regularly and persistently ‘fall between the cracks’ that open up between services.
The inter-relationship of these individual issues is complex and efforts to improve outcomes for this cohort of people have been ongoing for many years across different agencies and agendas and across the UK a range of responses are being developed. This is not a new issue and Portsmouth is not unique in its experience. This group of people can have a disproportionate impact on those around them; their partners and the neighbourhoods in which they live – including businesses and visitors to the city – and most importantly, any children they may have.
During 2017 SPP support officers worked with colleagues across a range of services to understand the underlying issues involved and also with Public Health England who produced a comprehensive evidence review.
Two detailed case studies undertaken during this time have been used to develop the animations below. These 3-minute animations can be used for training and awareness raising. The findings from interviews with local people are also available in the ‘Hidden Voices’ report available here:
Alongside this work, organisations in the city are working together to take a strategic approach to the issues of street culture, including begging, and street sleeping to support people in these circumstances and tackle associated community safety issues.
Below are two examples that we used and created animations for.