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Effective joint working to reduce street homelessness supported by new Government funding

GREAT Yarmouth Borough Council has been awarded an additional £47,500 from the Government's Rough Sleeping Initiative to support rough sleepers and the street homeless to access support and accommodation.

Working with the Herring House Trust, a charity which operates a homeless hostel in Great Yarmouth, an additional Pathway Worker will be employed for one year.

The new Pathway Worker will work with the existing Pathway Worker, funded by the borough council, and will double the amount of outreach support available to work with rough sleepers and ensure that rough sleepers and street homeless people can be supported into accommodation at an early stage before rough sleeping becomes entrenched.

The Pathway Workers will be able to take advantage of an emergency hostel bedspace which ensures that no homeless person is unable to access to overnight accommodation because of their financial position.

This removes a real barrier for some homeless people to get access to overnight accommodation. The additional support will also help ensure that rough sleepers can transition from hostel to supported housing to independent housing successfully.

The Pathway Workers collaborate closely with the multi-agency Housing First group, which is successful in ensuring that statutory agencies such as the council, police, Social Services, Health Services and the Department for Work Pensions, along with organisations such as Herring House, work together to address the needs of rough sleepers with complex needs and ensuring that when a rough sleeper seeks help they are able to access the help they need.

In the most recent rough sleeper counts and estimates undertaken by Norfolk districts, the number of rough sleepers in Great Yarmouth - 10 people - was comparable to North Norfolk, with Waveney and Norwich having higher figures. With recent additional funding for homeless support in the borough, and with a continued focus on supporting rough sleepers, partners hope to see an improving trend in the coming years.

Nicola Turner, housing director at the borough council, said: "The council works proactively with partners to address locally the national issue of homelessness, focussing efforts on reducing the risk of people becoming homeless in the first place and helping rough sleepers to move back into stable permanent accommodation.

"The council uses its own funds as well as county council and Government Funding to support these initiatives and actively bids for funding to support the delivery of other initiatives to support homeless people. 

"The council is really pleased that its bid has been successful for funding for an additional Pathway Worker and to provide funding to introduce an emergency hostel bed for those rough sleepers who have no income or no recourse to public funds.

"This funding will build upon the existing good partnership work in the borough to support rough sleepers and is expected to help ensure that more rough sleepers are able to be helped off the street and into accommodation which they will be able to maintain.

"Herring House Trust's existing Pathway Worker and the work of the Housing First group has already demonstrated the clear benefits of having a dedicated outreach service supported by effective joint working between the voluntary and statutory services. The additional Pathway Worker is currently being recruited."

Gaynor Collin, business manager of Herring Housing Trust, said: "With this funding we will be able to offer more intensive support to people who are vulnerable and in need of emergency housing.

"Once someone is securely housed we will support them to address the reasons why they became homeless. Co-ordinated support, from a range of local agencies will wrap around them. Our aim is to help them bring about change in their lives, build skills and take advantage of new opportunities to move out of homelessness."

Last modified on 25 January 2023

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