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Tuesday 4 February 2020

Council secures cash boost for homelessness and prevention work

Cheshire East Council has secured a cash boost of more than £400,000 for its strategy to help the borough’s rough sleepers. 

The council will receive £438,329.30 from a £112m funding pot as part of the government’s rough sleeping programme.

Working with charities and faith groups, the council will use the money to continue its drive to reduce the number of people sleeping on the streets by funding beds in various locations together with a pro-active team of support workers who actively encourage rough sleepers to use recognised accommodation.

Government funding received last year by the council enabled the authority to appoint a rough sleeping coordinator and build an outreach team to support rough sleepers, encouraging them to come in off the streets.

The team can also direct those in need towards emergency and longer-term accommodation. They also provide long-term help and advice, which can lead to more permanent accommodation and employment.

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “This funding is a welcome injection of cash into a vital service to help and support people in genuine need.

“This further round of funding will help us to develop important work in prisons and in our hospitals where some of our rough sleepers can end up. We want to make sure they have somewhere to go when discharged back into society and prevent a ‘revolving door’ scenario – where people end up back on the streets, sleeping rough.

“We have managed to keep our numbers of rough sleepers in the borough fairly low but one rough sleeper is one too many. We are eager to tackle the harmful effects of homelessness through a proactive prevention programme, as these can have a severe impact on family life and on children as well as an individual’s mental health and wellbeing.”

The council is encouraging residents to report a rough sleeper by calling 0300 123 5017 so that they can be helped. In the year to March 2019, the council helped 129 homeless people on the streets into longer term accommodation and continued that success story with a further 97 successful outcomes later in the year.

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