Great Yarmouth Borough Council secures national funding to help rough sleepers
Great Yarmouth Borough Council is to receive a portion of the £112m Government fund dedicated to the Rough Sleeping Initiative which helps people move off the streets and into accommodation.
The council developed the bid with its partners for the funding with the aim of continuing existing services for a further year as well as introducing a new service which will provide access to healthcare that is specifically designed to meet the needs of rough sleepers. In addition, the bid included funding for a new Rough Sleeper Co-ordinator post.
The £111,735 will allow the council and its partners to continue their work together to assist those sleeping rough to move off the street towards accommodation. Nationally, the Rough Sleeping Initiative, currently in its third year of running, will fund up to 6,000 bed spaces and 2,500 support staff across the country.
The latest statistics published on the Government website showed there were 10 rough sleepers in the Great Yarmouth borough. Rough sleepers are those who are physically sleeping on the street whereas homelessness includes those sleeping in temporary accommodation of any kind.
For one year, from 1st April 2020, the money will be used to provide continuous funding for several important existing services. This includes funding for the Herring House Trust to continue their Pathway Worker post and the provision of an Emergency Bed. Both the Emergency Bed and Pathway Worker at Herring House Trust are critical for those who are not in an immediate position to access a hostel, giving those in need a safe, warm place to stay.
As rough sleepers are particularly at risk of health issues, some of the funding will also be used for a dedicated, wrap-around programme of healthcare for rough sleepers with the healthcare to be provided by East Norfolk Medical Practice and East Coast Community Healthcare. This will allow health services to be delivered in a way that can best be accessed by those who are living on the streets.
Cllr Andy Grant, chairman of the Housing and Neighbourhood Committee, said: "Great Yarmouth Borough Council works in close partnership with a wide range of agencies as part of our pro-active work regarding rough sleepers.
"Although local providers are active in combatting homelessness, sometimes it can be difficult to reach those sleeping on the streets. The Rough Sleeper Co-ordinator role will work closely with partners and voluntary groups to ensure that all rough sleepers in Great Yarmouth are aware of and able to access the services they need.