Additional funding of £143,000 has been awarded to BCP Council from Government in a bid to support those sleeping rough to move in to accommodation and receive ongoing support.
This latest round of funding comes as part of Government’s £100m National Rough Sleeping Strategy to end rough sleeping for good and will further boost the additional work that is taking place to help people who are living on the streets in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch.
The funding aims to support actions and interventions expected to have the greatest and the quickest impact on rough sleeping numbers with a focus on a sustainable outcome for the person.
Since summer 2018, the former Bournemouth Borough Council and now, BCP Council has received more than £1.5m which funded additional specialist staff to compliment the existing well-established service for rough sleepers. Initially this additional work was focused in Bournemouth as the area has a higher number of rough sleepers compared to neighbouring areas but the additional investment and work will also benefit Poole and Christchurch.
To date the funding has been invested in employing more frontline outreach workers who work directly with those sleeping rough as well as a co-ordinator and specialist staff including a psychological invention worker, landlord liaison to help people access the private rented sector, an additional Housing First officer and drug and alcohol specialist outreach workers.
Since Aug 2018, 55 vulnerable people who were sleeping rough in Bournemouth were supported in to temporary accommodation as a result of the additional funding. Many have now successfully moved on to longer-term accommodation as a result. This is in addition to the well-established existing services within the BCP Council conurbation to support rough sleepers where year on year an average 10 -15 people are helped off the streets each month.
Councillor Kieron Wilson, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We are already seeing significant results in helping more people off the streets in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole thanks to the additional funding. It’s important that we direct the funding to the right areas to ensure we have the most impact, including frontline outreach, drug and alcohol support as well as mental health support. Often those sleeping rough have very complex needs and some may have been on the streets for a long time and so it requires intensive and specialist support to ensure vulnerable people can move off the streets and in to suitable accommodation and receive the ongoing support they need.”
As part of the total funding awarded, £183,600 was recently awarded to the former Bournemouth Council to employ three ‘navigators’ to work closely with individuals to support them from rough sleeping into permanent stable accommodation and ongoing support to sustain a tenancy and prevent returns to the street.
The funding will also go towards move-on costs, training, education and additional support dependent on individual needs.