Funding for longer term accommodation for homeless people with additional support needs is among the works secured following a successful bid by West Suffolk Council.
The council, working with Sanctuary Supported Living (part of national housing provider Sanctuary Group), has been awarded a £100,000 capital grant from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme to carry out the necessary building works.
The money will be used for 11 places for people with additional support needs.
As part of this, Sanctuary Supported Living is currently recruiting homelessness project workers – see https://career5.successfactors.eu/sfcareer/jobreqcareer?jobId=92142&company=C0007254669P and https://career5.successfactors.eu/sfcareer/jobreqcareer?jobId=92122&company=C0007254669P
West Suffolk Council has been awarded £120,000 from the programme for works to deliver three additional units of temporary accommodation.
The council has also secured £414,099 of revenue funding on top of the £174,000 announced from the Next Steps Accommodation Programme in September, to help fund support costs for the accommodation to March 2024.
Since lockdown in March the council has helped more than 520 households, including a number of rough sleepers, by providing housing advice and support. It currently has 109 households in temporary accommodation, including those who have previously been rough sleeping.
John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We are pleased that our bid to the government’s Next Steps Programme has been successful and that they recognise the work we, and our partners, are doing here to help people who have become homeless, by providing the appropriate support and accommodation that they need.”
And Sara Mildmay-White, West Suffolk Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We are continuing to do all that we can to help and support people who have become homeless during this pandemic and to encourage those who are rough sleeping to accept the support and accommodation on offer. Sometimes the reasons for homelessness aren’t about money. They are more complex and that is why it is increasingly vital to have this longer-term accommodation available for people who do need that additional support.”
The council has also secured an additional £30,000 from West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver personalised healthcare to the tenants with additional health needs and is also working with other agencies to create an environment where people will receive support for other issues.
Meanwhile the authority, which employs a Rough Sleeper Outreach team with specialists in mental health and addiction, is asking people to report anyone they see or suspect is rough sleeping so the vouncil can try, if it is not already, to help them get the support and accommodation that they need. The quickest way to report information to the rough sleeper outreach team, is online via www.streetlink.org.uk
At present there are around nine confirmed rough sleepers in West Suffolk, although this can fluctuate regularly. All nine have either previously been accommodated or have turned down offers of accommodation. The council continues to try to encourage them to take up the support and accommodation on offer.
Pictured above is one of the Rough Sleeper Support Team which tries to encourage people who are sleeping outside to take up the support and accommodation on offer.