Rough Sleeper Initiative funding has been allocated to councils across England to support vital projects such as shelters, specialist mental health or addiction services, and targeted support to help rough sleepers off the streets for good, with St Helens Borough Council receiving a total of £368,750.
In previous years, funding has gone onto create emergency bed spaces in the YMCA and Salvation Army, also funding a Rough Sleeper Navigator and Accommodation Support Officer to assist rough sleepers off the streets and into appropriate accommodation.
This year’s funding will allow the continuation of previous initiatives and enable a number of new initiatives such as Recovery Housing project and existing services to explore and implement a Psychologically Informed Environment review.
The latest funding complements the work carried out by St Helens Borough Council and partners to assist more than 150 people into housing since the start of the coronavirus pandemic – including a project with social housing provider Torus to redevelop previously vacant flats in the Peasley Cross area of St Helens into 28 quality homes for people assessed as able to live independently who might otherwise be at risk of returning to the streets.
Councillor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities said: “Everyone, no matter their background or situation, should have the right to safe accommodation and it’s really important that residents who find themselves in this difficult situation know that options are available to them.
“I’m really proud of the work we have carried out with partners including St Helens YMCA, the Salvation Army, the Whitechapel Centre and voluntary sector such as Teardrops and the Hope Centre over the years to address rough sleeping in our borough, particularly during the past 12 months which has been the most difficult period in living memory. This additional funding will mean that we can continue our crucial work to ty and help people off the streets for good.”
The council’s Housing Options and Advice Service provides advice and information for anyone at risk of losing their accommodation.
Visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/housing or call 01744 675150, or 0845 0500148 for emergency, out of hours support.