Grant to help homeless

Local homelessness services have received a £45k boost thanks to a government grant aimed at helping rough sleepers.

Test Valley Borough Council submitted a bid to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative Fund to enable them to provide additional support for single people who are homeless or at risk of rough sleeping.

The funding will see TVBC work closely with supported housing provider, Two Saints, to increase and maintain appropriate emergency bed provision to prevent and relieve homelessness in the area. They will also provide specialist health and wellbeing expertise, and facilitate the delivery of additional support for those who have experienced rough sleeping.

TVBC’s head of housing and environmental health, Phil Turner, said:

This is great news for the local area. The funding will enable us to work with our colleagues at Two Saints to enhance their existing services, along with wider partners to deliver improvements in the local response, and ultimately to ensure that we are able to meet emerging needs in the borough.

Rough sleeping is an incredibly complex issue and we are actively working to find new and effective ways to help people, with an emphasis on preventing homelessness in the first place, but also on securing sustainable accommodation options and support to help people to come inside.

James McDermott, regional director at Two Saints, said:

The additional funding is excellent and very welcome news. We share the council’s ambitions to tackle homelessness effectively and we look forward to this new opportunity to work even more closely with borough council colleagues and our wider partnerships to prevent and relieve homelessness in Test Valley.

The council recently published a Rough Sleeping Action Plan, which sets out its plans to tackle single homelessness in the local area over the coming year as part of its overarching Preventing Homelessness Strategy.

The funding has been awarded for the financial year 2019/20. Anyone concerned about their housing situation can contact the council’s housing service on 01264 368000 or 01794 527700. People can also report rough sleeping to the council through streetlink.org.uk

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