£112m given to councils to tackle homelessness

The government has announced £112m for the Rough Sleeping Iniative in order to help councils, charities and other organisations to tackle homelessness. 

The Rough Sleeping Initiative launched in 2018 to ensure that local areas were given a boost to provide homelessness services.

The funding will be available to local authorities, charities and other organisations, it is hoped the money will be used to fund up to 6,000 bed-spaces and 2,500 support staff across the country.

Bristol council is one of around 270 organisations who will receive a £2.8m share of the fund.

Bristol council has announced that around £1m of the funding will be used to run two year-round shelters, one of which could be at St Anne’s House, which is currently being used as a shelter during the winter months.

The rest of the money will be used to provide a specialist mental health nurse to work within the Outreach team, it will also be used to increase the capacity for the ‘somewhere safe to stay programme’ and to provide new specialist navigators who will work to help people with a variety of support needs into accommodation.

Cllr Paul Smith, cabinet member for housing, said: ‘We are working with a range of partners to tackle homelessness in the city, but unfortunately the number of people sleeping rough and experiencing homelessness continues to rise across the country.

‘We remain committed to doing everything we can to eradicate homelessness and additional shelter space will allow us to spend more time working with vulnerable people to find them a route off the streets.

‘Ultimately we know that the only way to truly end homeless is to provide enough affordable housing and make the welfare system work better for people who are homeless, but these additional services will allow us to make a real difference while we work towards our long-term goals.’

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: ‘No one should have to face a night on the street and we have a moral duty to support those who need it most.

‘We are focusing relentlessly on this issue, the areas funded by our Rough Sleeping Initiative have seen rough sleeping numbers fall around a third more than they would be without this vital programme, but we need to go further.

‘That is why we are providing this funding so vital work can continue as we set out to end rough sleeping once and for all.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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