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More help to be made available for district's homeless

Council successfully applies for government grant

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632


MORE support will be made available to people sleeping rough in West Berkshire after the council received a £200,000 Government grant.

The money will be used to support a number of initiatives, including an additional outreach worker, two floating support workers and a dual diagnosis worker to help those with mental health or substance misuse issues.

It will also support a number of funds to secure suitable accommodation, a health visitor resource to assist with accessing healthcare locally and an extension to the prison release scheme, to allow more time for people leaving prison to find somewhere to live so that they don’t end up homeless.

The funding was secured following a successful bid by West Berkshire Council to the Government’s £30m Rough Sleeper Initiative Grant.

The bid was created with the support and involvement of local partners, including A2 Dominion, Sovereign Housing, Loose Ends, Eight Bells for Mental Health, Two Saints (hostel), Adult Social Care, Healthwatch West Berkshire, Thames Valley Police, Swanswell, West Berkshire Homeless, Greenham Trust and the CCG.

These organisations work together as part of the Homelessness Forum and will implement and help support the initiatives outlined in the application.

West Berkshire Council executive member for housing and homelessness Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley) said: “We are delighted to receive this grant money and have given a great deal of thought to the initiatives that it will fund.

“They will all make the most positive impact and provide the most practical benefits to rough sleepers.

“Homelessness and rough sleeping is a priority for the council.

“Our figures for rough sleepers fluctuate, as there are so many factors that can contribute to someone finding themselves in this position.

“While it is not possible to control these factors, the funding will enable us to greatly increase the help and support that we can offer to rough sleepers.”

As well as being awarded this funding, West Berkshire has also recently been selected as one of only 25 areas nationally to implement the Making Every Adult Matter programme.

It has been established to develop coordinated, effective support for people experiencing multiple needs.

Anyone aware of someone sleeping rough in the district should contact the council’s housing options team on (01635) 519530.

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