Weymouth and Portland will receive £250k following successful bids to government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative Funding and Rapid Rehousing Pathways programme.

Clive Milone, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Head of Housing, said:

“This is great news. The funding will make a huge impact in supporting services for rough sleepers in the area.

“Rough sleeping is an increasing problem across the country. We are doing what we can to improve the situation locally providing the help that people need.”

Rough Sleeping Initiative funding

A targeted £45m Rough Sleeping Initiative fund was announced in September 2018 for local authorities to be used in 2019-20. This included an £11m fund to support areas outside the initial 83 local authorities who were supported in 2018-19.

In Weymouth and Portland the funding will provide additional workers in rough sleeper outreach and substance misuse as well as an Employment Support worker and a Project Worker for the Bus Shelter project.

Emily McCarron, Co-Founder & Project Manager of The Bus Shelter, said:

“We are delighted!

“The Bus Shelter is a unique project, providing referred rough sleeper guests with a local connection a safe place to stay, in a converted double-decker bus, and 24/7 non-judgemental support to address issues having a negative impact on their lives.

“Funding for the two new posts will enable us to augment our small staff team, and enhance our ability to give hope and practical help to people caught up in the negative spiral of rough sleeping, empowering them to find a new way forward, access specialist services, and work towards re-integrating into society.”

Rapid Rehousing Pathway programme

In the government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy, they announced their intention to put in place structures to ensure the prevention and quick response to rough sleeping in the longer term, through a rapid rehousing approach as set out in their 2027 vision. This includes four policy interventions:

  • Navigators
  • Somewhere Safe to Stay hubs
  • Local Lettings Agencies
  • Supported Lettings

These interventions all work to help rough sleepers, and those at risk of rough sleeping, to access the support and settled housing they need to leave the streets for good.

In December, government announced 11 areas to Pilot Somewhere Safe to Stay Hubs. Following this, on 8 February government announced 42 areas who will deliver the remaining three parts.

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council was one of these areas. The funding will go towards two interventions in the area; the Navigator Scheme and the Supported Lettings Scheme.

 Navigator Scheme

Julian House will carry out the Navigator Scheme. The scheme is designed to help guide rough sleepers through the support systems available to them and into settled accommodation.

The scheme will extend the current support of Julian House and enable further guidance and advice across many different topics, putting people in a better position to both come off the streets and maintain accommodation in the long term.

Supported Letting Scheme

The Lantern will deliver a supported lettings scheme. Like Julian House and the Navigator scheme, The Lantern currently carry out a supported lettings scheme on a small scale.

This scheme will expand the current support and help individuals to find and maintain their accommodation and recover from sleeping rough.

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