ORGANISATIONS from across the conurbation came together for the relaunch of a joint-working initiative to tackle rough sleeping.

Council leaders, MPs, service groups and charitable bodies rallied together as the Street Support programme was the focus of attention at the event last Friday in Alder Hills.

The initiative first came into use across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole last year.

It provides an online information resource that brings all the local community support together in one place to help people out of homelessness.

Alistair Doxat-Purser, chief executive of Faithworks Wessex, who are one of the bodies signed up to Street Support, said homelessness and rough sleeping can only be solved with everyone playing their part.

"We are only going to be able to play our part if we know what each other is doing and that is where Street Support comes in," Mr Doxat-Purser said.

"You have got an idea of what is actually out there and where the gaps are that we still need to fill. That for me is helpful because it doesn't just tell you what is going on, it tells you where you can help."

Mr Doxat-Purser said the recent history of homelessness across the region has led to the subject being more prominent in people's minds.

He added that the needs of rough sleepers and support to help them varies given their individual circumstances.

"You have the person who just had a situation which means they have had to leave their home, right through to the person who has been on the street for many years and maybe has some complex needs," Mr Doxat-Purser said.

"That is another reason why we need everyone working together. The solution for the person with complex needs is going to require different people and different activities than the solution for someone who has just come off the street.

"It is not easy, there is a lot of need, but I think we are starting to see, by working together, a lot of new thinking about how we are going to tackle this.

"We don't just want to talk, we want to turn this into action."

Around 19 organisations came together for the Street Support relaunch.

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns, who has advocated the work charities do in supporting rough sleepers, was also in attendance.

He told the Daily Echo: "I have a very strong feeling that the best response to the issues around homelessness is a collaborative approach that brings everyone together, making the most of the thriving third sector of church and voluntary groups that we have in the area.

"The signing up of the councils and all the organisations to Street Support is a huge step forward."