Brokenshire confirms over £25 million to help vulnerable rough sleepers

Thousands of vulnerable people sleeping rough will get specialist support to recover from life on the streets

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• Over £25 million of funding to be allocated to over 100 areas across England – including 20 new rough sleeping centres

• Funding to provide specialist support for the most vulnerable rough sleepers – including those with mental health or substance misuse issues

• Move part of the government’s £100-million backed Rough Sleeping Strategy to end rough sleeping for good

Thousands of vulnerable people sleeping rough will get specialist support to recover from life on the streets, thanks to a £25 million funding boost announced today (3 May 2019) by Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP.

The money, to be shared with 108 local authorities across the country, will be used to fund innovative local schemes aimed at supporting people off the streets and into stable accommodation where they can receive the tailored care they need.

This will include:

• 20 new “Somewhere Safe to Stay” rough sleeping centres – where people on the streets can access professional help and guidance, including immediate shelter and mental health support

• Over 130 navigator posts – specialist support workers who direct people to the services they need, such as counselling, housing advice, mental health support or substance misuse services

• 61 supported lettings schemes – helping people to secure tenancies in properties that they may not otherwise be able to access

• 30 dedicated local letting agencies – specialist agencies that support vulnerable people into affordable and stable accommodation

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

"We are taking steps to ensure people never have to face even one night on the streets.

"These are vulnerable people, who may be dealing with complex mental health problems or addictions and require specialist support to tackle these issues and turn their lives around.

"The funding confirmed today will ensure those sleeping on the streets have access to the professional help and guidance they need to get back on their feet – taking us one step closer to ending rough sleeping for good."

Today’s news forms part of the Government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy – backed by £100 million – which sets out detailed plans to support thousands of people off the street and end rough sleeping for good.

The 20 new rough sleeping centres builds upon 11 announced in December last year, bringing the total to 31 – exceeding the commitment made in the Strategy.

This also follows the confirmation of £46 million for councils over the next year – including the 83 areas with the highest number of rough sleepers –to support people in their area off the streets and into secure accommodation where they can get the help they need to rebuild their lives.

Councils will use this investment to create an estimated additional 2,600 beds and 750 support staff – meaning there are more people sleeping in warm beds tonight as a result of government funding.

Case studies

In Gloucester, a Somewhere Safe to Stay hub opened earlier this year. In February, a man was referred to the hub and was confused, exhausted and suffering from memory loss. During his time at the hub, he was able to recuperate and was accompanied by a navigator to the health and homelessness team for assessment. His treatment helped him to remember details about his family and he was supported to reach out and reconnect with his family. He has since moved back to London to live with his relatives.

Elsewhere, Cornwall council will receive funding this year to trial a ‘roving hub’ across the county. This will allow services to rotate around three locations and engage with more rough sleepers, or people at risk. People will receive specialist, personalised support at the hub locations, linking them up with health and housing services so that, with the support they need, they can move on into settled and sustainable accommodation.

Further information

• In August 2018, the government unveiled its Rough Sleeping Strategy, which sets out the next steps towards achieving the aim of supporting everyone off the streets and into a home and to end rough sleeping for good, backed by £100 million of funding.

• The government has provided £46 million for the Rough Sleeping Initiative fund in the 2019 to 2020 year, consisting of £34 million for the initial 83 areas who had the highest number of rough sleepers and a further £12 million set aside for spending on other areas and projects.

• The Rapid Rehousing Pathway brings together 4 policy interventions – Somewhere Safe to Stay, Supported Lettings, Navigators and Local Lettings Agencies – to help rough sleepers, and those at risk of sleeping rough, to access the support and settled housing they need to leave the streets for good.

• Bidding for 2019 to 2020 opened on 1 March and closed on 29 March 2019.

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