Stevenage Borough Council secures additional funding for rough sleeping initiative

PUBLISHED: 10:48 05 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:48 05 March 2020

New initiative launched to help tackle homelessness in Stevenage. Picture: Pexels.

New initiative launched to help tackle homelessness in Stevenage. Picture: Pexels.

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Stevenage Borough Council has received additional funds from the government to support a scheme to reduce rough sleeping in Stevenage.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recently announced the council's funding bid has been awarded a £177,500 grant under its Rough Sleeper Initiative Fund.

This is the second grant secured from the government in support of its rough sleeper outreach work.

The money will be used to fund three additional outreach workers to support and navigate people who are homeless or sleeping rough, connecting them with the local services that can support them.

Their roles will support the council's aim to prevent and reduce homelessness and end the need for anyone to sleep rough in Stevenage.

Councillor Jeannette Thomas, executive member for housing, health and older people, said: "We're delighted we have been awarded funding to extend the great work of our outreach team by employing three new support workers.

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"These individuals will engage with some of the most vulnerable members of society and will work co-operatively with local agencies to ensure people have access to the right services and support to address their needs.

"If someone is rough sleeping, our priority is to get them off the street as quickly as possible. Thanks to this funding, we will be able to support even more individuals."

The positions are to be funded for a fixed term of 12 months with recruitment taking place shortly.

Stevenage Borough Council's outreach programme is delivered in partnership with Hertfordshire Police and the council's No More service through Operation Urban, an initiative that aims to better connect services that help combat homelessness and the associated crime and anti-social behaviour.

The council conducts intensive outreach to engage with rough sleepers, working in partnership with Stevenage Haven to provide shelter, with severe weather emergency provision provided via Haven and Holy Trinity Church during times of extreme weather.

The council's Housing Supply team is also able to source suitable accommodation in the private rented sector and explore supported housing projects for applicants.

If members of the public see a homeless person that may need support they can call the council's housing options team on 01438 24242 or make a report via www.streetlink.org.uk.

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