Funding boost of £2.4M to end rough sleeping in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Efforts to support people off the streets and to help prevent rough sleeping is set to continue with a funding boost of £2,463.893 awarded to BCP Council.

The funding has been awarded to BCP Council as part of the government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative to end rough sleeping across England and will mean that interventions already established by the council and its partners will be able to continue as well as enabling additional measures to support people who may find themselves homeless.

Councillor Robert Lawton, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “We welcome this additional funding which will help us to continue and build on the huge efforts that are taking place to help people who’ve been rough sleeping, as well as ensuring we are doing all we can to prevent people from becoming homeless in the future.

“We are fully committed to ending homelessness across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. We have seen a significant reduction in the numbers of people sleeping rough since 2019 thanks to the hard work of the council and its partners. However, we must not be complacent. We know that nationally we will continue to see the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities and so it’s important that we are able to continue our focus on intervention and prevention measures to help the most vulnerable people in our towns.”

The funding will enable the expansion of the council’s Housing First scheme which provides the most vulnerable people who have been sleeping rough with their own accommodation with appropriate intensive wraparound support to prevent further homelessness and improve their quality of life.

Funding will also ensure the continuation of a range of services including dedicated mental health and drug and alcohol dependency support as well as supported lettings to help people maintain their tenancies and support with accessing the private rented sector. It will allow for further integrating of the vital work being done by a range of partners in the sector as well as additional specialised interventions such as a prison liaison worker to help prevent homelessness upon release, a new Somewhere Safe To Stay service, providing interim accommodation and support to enable prompt movement off the streets and additional supported housing places.

Since March 2020 the council and its partners have supported more than 450 people who were sleeping rough or at risk of ending up on the streets in to emergency accommodation with the aim to move them in to longer term accommodation with appropriate support to help prevent homelessness reoccurring.

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Notes to editor:

  • In Nov 2019 the official street count figure for number of people sleeping rough in the BCP area was: 72. The latest figure in March 2021 is 21.
  • As part of BCP Council’s Big Plan, we are committed to clean, safe and affordable housing, the wellbeing of all age groups, from our youngest to our oldest, with good health and care and good local services for our residents.