Lambeth Council is making huge efforts to end homelessness in the borough, setting ambitious targets to help get rough sleepers off the streets.

The story “Can Lambeth Council really eradicate homelessness by end of 2012” (November 19) acknowledges the size and challenges of the task.

We know this is an ambitious target, and that it may be missed, but Lambeth Council and its partners believe it is the right target as no one should be living on, or sleeping on, the streets in the 21st century.

The target has been set at a challenging time with the numbers of rough sleepers increasing across London, while funding for local authorities is being heavily cut.

In the last financial year the number of rough sleepers in Lambeth that were new to the streets rose to 206 people - 49 per cent higher than in 2010/2011.

But due to the new assessment centre in Vauxhall which opened in April and The No Second Night Out Project up to 94 per cent of homeless people were accommodated within two days.

Lambeth Council has also contracted the charity Thames Reach, based in Stockwell, to provide outreach services in the borough. Called the Lambeth Street Outreach Response Team, it helps rough sleepers and people caught up in a street lifestyle.

Through these combined efforts we have successfully helped more rough sleepers than ever before, with nearly 300 people helped off the streets since the start of the year.

Residents interested in helping tackle the issue can also contribute by becoming a safer street champion. To find out more about the street champion scheme or to report concerns about rough sleepers visit

Based on information supplied by Cllr Jim Dickson, Lambeth Council Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing