A Government grant of £700,000 has been announced today, which will help more rough sleepers get off the streets for good in 2020/21.

Peterborough City Council has been successful in a bid to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to secure funding to support rough sleepers get off the streets and outreach support to assist in getting a home, training and/or employment.

The funding, which totals £700,000 for 2020/21 will support the following initiatives:

  • Street based support – Funding to pay for the wages in 2020/21 of two rough sleeper outreach officers and one rough sleeper coordinator to continue engaging with people living on the streets to encourage them to access accommodation and services.
  • Crash Beds – Continued funding for 12 crash beds provided by Longhurst Group for rough sleepers to use on a night-by-night basis for the next year. New funding for an additional 12 crash beds to be provided by The Light Project Peterborough.
  • Extension of the Winter Night Shelter – Continued funding for 2020/21 to enable the Winter Night Shelter, run by The Light Project Peterborough to open all year round from March 2020.
  • Housing – Continued funding for two floating support workers and one temporary accommodation support worker to continue helping former rough sleepers to maintain their accommodation once they have secured a home of their own, as well as offering practical support and guidance on how them leave their lives on the street behind.
  • Landlord Incentive Scheme – New funding to provide incentives to private landlords to accept former rough sleepers into their rented accommodation.
  • Support workers – Specialist funding to help with those being released from prison, people suffering from substance misuse, psychiatry services and GP services.

Christine Graham, Chair of the Safer Off the Streets partnership, said: “Peterborough City Council is a key Safer Off the Streets partner and provides a significant amount of resource and support in delivering the city-wide services we coordinate to rough sleepers, including offers of accommodation, GP services and funding for the Garden House hub, run by The Light Project Peterborough.

“It’s a sad fact that the life expectancy of a rough sleeper is just 47, compared to 77 for the rest of the population – well below the average. This funding is welcome and will help both the council and the partnership continue its work in the next financial year.”

Councillor Steve Allen, cabinet member for communities, said: “We have worked hard to secure extra funding and are pleased that the government has recognised our bid. This extra funding will make a significant difference to positive work already underway with partners across the city, as part of the Safer Off the Streets partnership of which the council is a member.

“Over the last 12 months since we received the previous grant, the council has been able to provide more resources to help achieve the objectives of the Safer Off the Streets partnership, including helping over 40 rough sleepers into accommodation, allowing them the chance to leave their life on the streets behind.”

The funding is for activities in 2020/21. Further discussions between the MHCLG and the Council will take place over the coming months regarding continued funding in 2021/22.

The Safer Off the Streets partnership in Peterborough brings together organisations from voluntary, faith, community and public service agencies across the city who will work together to aid those who are sleeping rough on our streets.

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