Waltham Forest Council is still struggling to obey the government and house all its rough sleepers as some refuse to engage with services.

Local councils were asked by the Government to find housing for rough sleepers by the last weekend in March to allow them to self-isolate and prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Responding to concerns from a resident, a council spokesperson admitted some people often seen around Leytonstone station were still on the street.

In a tweet on April 12, Katie Watkins asked the council: “I understand it’s challenging times but the amount of homeless people around Leytonstone station is terrible to see.

“What happened to them being rehomed during this time?”

Made with Flourish

A council spokesperson responded: “The homeless people seen around Leytonstone station are all known to us and have been offered support by outreach workers, such as St Mungos.

“Some of them are engaging at a slow pace, some have vulnerabilities and others have substance misuse, and are being supported by the relevant agencies.”

“One particular rough sleeper from the location refused to engage with the homeless services, substance misuse support, and has also committed several criminal offences.

“We are currently applying for an injunction against this individual and will include a mandatory condition - to engage with housing needs and drug and alcohol agency.”

Figures from CHAIN indicate there were around 40 rough sleepers in Waltham Forest at the end of last year.

Cllr Louise Mitchell, cabinet member for housing and homelessness prevention, said: “Since the beginning of April we have taken 42 rough sleepers off the streets and out of the Waltham Forest night shelter and secured safe, self-contained accommodation for them, including some hotel rooms.

“We will continue to work with these individuals to help them develop a pathway and keep them from returning to the streets.

“Our dedicated outreach team continue to work hard during the COVID-19 outbreak to reach any more rough sleepers in Waltham Forest and make the offer of help.

"If residents are concerned about a person they think may be sleeping rough in their neighbourhood, please use the Tell Streetlink smartphone app to connect them with support services.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

For more breaking news, local headlines and features, ‘like’ our Facebook page.

We also have a Twitter account: @ELondonGuardian

Follow us to keep up-to-date with news in Waltham Forest and Redbridge.