More than £14million has been awarded to BCP Council in a bid to support people who are rough sleeping.
£3million has already been received by the government since summer 2018. This has not only helped well established services for rough sleepers at night but has also paid for additional services on top. These services have been primarily focused on Bournemouth, due to its much higher number of rough sleepers but Christchurch and Poole have benefited from this as well.
The latest funding is due to help with the following;
- A ‘Housing Hospital Discharge Coordinator’ will be introduced to support those who are at risk of homelessness after a spell in hospital.
- Establish a new scheme, referred to as ‘somewhere safe to stay’. This allows vulnerable people to get in touch and receive the correct support.
- Establish a housing-led accommodation block, similar to the Housing First model by providing self-contained accommodation and on-site support available 24/7.
Councillor Kieron Wilson, Cabinet Member for Housing, BCP Council, said: “This latest funding announcement is great news and is much needed. In previous years, we have been more focused on enhancing existing contracts and services to support rough sleepers.
“This latest funding will help us to establish new initiatives such as the housing-led accommodation and ‘Somewhere safe to stay’ scheme which gives our outreach team a safe space to access immediately in order to engage with someone who has been on the streets. We believe that through our existing work and these new initiatives we can build on the success and it will have a real positive impact.
“However, we accept that rough sleeping and homelessness continues to be an issue, not just locally but nationally and we are committed to continuing with our targeted work and prioritising homelessness prevention.”