Council receives a £285,000 boost from government to help rough sleepers

A new city council initiative to help rough sleepers get off the streets has received a £285,000 boost in the form of a government grant.

Peterborough City Council has been successful in a bid to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to secure funding to support rough sleepers get off the streets and outreach support to assist in getting a home, training and/or employment.

The funding, which totals £284,765 for 2018/19 will support the following initiatives:

  • A twofold increase of the current rough sleeper outreach team from two officers to four.
  • All year round emergency shelter accommodation for up to 10 rough sleepers.
  • An expansion of the current Severe Weather Emergency Provision offered by Axiom Housing, part of the Longhurst Group.
  • Extension of the current winter night shelter provision offered by the Light Project Peterborough from the current 13 weeks up to 20 weeks.
  • Increase in specialist outreach to support those with drug and alcohol misuse issues.
  • A specialist GP support services for rough sleepers.
  • A landlord incentive scheme to increase access to single person accommodation in the private sector.
  • The appointment of two specialist workers to support single people in maintaining their accommodation once housed.
  • A co-ordinator role which will lead on the delivery of the above initiatives.

Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities, said: "We have worked hard to secure extra funding and are pleased that the government has recognised our bid. This extra funding will make a significant difference to positive work already underway with partners across the city, and will support the delivery of our new Homelessness Reduction Strategy which was approved by full council last month."

The funding is for activities in 2018/19. Further discussions between the MHCLG and the Council will take place over the coming months regarding continued funding in 2019/20.

Cllr Walsh added: "Already, the leader of the council and I have visited the Emmaus homeless charity in Landbeach near Cambridge. This organisation provides best practice outreach work to help people get off the streets and into a stable home and meaningful work.

"We are hoping to replicate this in Peterborough. Last week our cabinet approved an advisory group to investigate the necessary steps required to launch this in the city."

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