Cash help for Tameside to tackle rough sleeping

Tameside has been allocated nearly half a million pounds in funding to help tackle the problem of rough sleeping over the next two years.

In total, £112 million has been allocated to councils across England, with Tameside receiving £471,500.

The Rough Sleeping Initiative was first announced in March 2018 to tackle the rise in people sleeping rough. This new round of funding will be used by local authorities, charities and other organisations to fund 6,000 bed spaces nationwide.

The move was announced on Tuesday by housing secretary Robert Jenrick MP and represents a 30 per cent increase on last year.

A Tameside Council spokesperson said: “This money has been issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government under the Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) scheme. Tameside Council has received RSI funding over the previous three years and we are pleased to have received an increase in this funding. These funds will be used to continue providing specialised, flexible interventions to help people who are rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping across the borough.

“The funding helps to pay for our rough sleeping team, made up of people with specialist knowledge, who can help rough sleepers tackle the wide range of issues which have led them into being homeless. These include drug and alcohol problems, mental health issues, welfare and benefit problems, debt and domestic abuse.

“As well as helping people off the streets and into temporary hostel accommodation, our RSI team is having great success finding permanent homes for individuals; some of whom have been rough sleeping for years. The funding is also used to provide support for people after they have been re-housed, to prevent them from failing in their tenancies and becoming homeless again.

“Our team has been very successful in reducing the number of rough sleepers across the borough; down from 36 in November 2018 to five in November 2019. We hope to continue this excellent work supporting the most vulnerable members of our community through 2020 and beyond.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said: “No-one should have to face a night on the street and we have a moral duty to support those who need help the most. It is encouraging to see more people getting the support they need, but there is always more to do.

“We are focusing relentlessly on this issue and our efforts have already led to the first nationwide fall in rough sleeping in a decade – and the areas funded by our Rough Sleeping Initiative have seen rough sleeping numbers fall around a third more than they would be without this vital programme, but we need to go further. That is why we are providing this funding so vital work can continue as we set out to end rough sleeping once and for all.”

Homelessness Minister Luke Hall said: “There are people all over the country working tirelessly to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. Our Rough Sleeping Initiative is proving to be successful, and this funding will mean this vital work can be continued as we set out to end rough sleeping once and for all.”

The government say the money will be used to create street based services including outreach teams who will find and support rough sleepers on the street, directing them to services. They will also establish ‘first-stage accommodation’ which will get people off the street and into warm and dry shelter, before moving them to a more permanent solution.

In their announcement the government said the money would “Set up housing support providing stable, affordable accommodation and intensive wrap-around support to help people who are sleeping rough recover from complex issues and sustain their tenancies” and “Introduce specialist support workers including Rough Sleeping Coordinators, navigators, and specialist health and care staff.”

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