Mansfield's new Labour mayor Andy Abrahams has spent a morning outreach session with homelessness charity Framework to learn more about its work.
Mr Abrahams has knowledge about the homeless community and the issues surrounding rough sleeping through previous volunteering with the Beacon Project.
But he asked to go out with Framework’s outreach team, which is funded by Mansfield District Council and countywide funding, to "see first-hand the conditions that rough sleepers are living in" and what is being done to engage with them.
From 5am on Thursday (August 8), Mr Abrahams spent four hours with two members of the Framework outreach team as they walked miles checking known rough sleeping locations in the town centre and at remote locations across the district.
He said: “I wanted to see for myself the conditions that rough sleepers live in, what is being done to engage with them and help them to make long-term changes to their lifestyles.
"I also wanted to hear more about their personal experiences and the issues they face and I will ensure these are taken on board.
“There is already fantastic partnership work underway in Mansfield to tackle this complicated issue but I am committed to looking at ways we can access further funding and work even more closely with our partners to improve services.”
Mansfield District Council has been awarded £187,407 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
This will be used to deliver the council’s homelessness prevention strategy, which aims to prevent residents from becoming homeless and ensures any rough sleeping is brief and doesn’t happen again.
This sum is in addition to two successful funding bids secured in partnership with other Nottinghamshire districts.
The 'Rough Sleepers Initiative' awarded the county with £450,000 to continue to support homeless outreach services already in place and enhance this provision by employing a prescribing nurse and social worker.
If you are concerned about someone who appears to be rough sleeping in your neighbourhood, contact the outreach team’s 24-hour hotline on 0800 066 5356 or text SOT to 80800 followed by your message. You can also make reports via www.streetlink.org.uk.