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Additional support for rough sleepers

Rough sleepers in Wiltshire will have access to additional help including for trauma counselling and targeted financial assistance, after Wiltshire Council successfully applied for government funding.

Published 21 September 2023

Rough sleepers in Wiltshire will have access to additional help including for trauma counselling and targeted financial assistance, after Wiltshire Council successfully applied for government funding.

The council secured £306,795 of additional targeted Rough Sleeper Initiative funding for the next two years to provide extra support to those who are trying to turn their life around after living on the streets.

The council will use the Bespoke Recovery Budget funding to extend a number of areas including appointing a new rough sleeper social worker post in the mental health social care team. This role will support rough sleepers with mental health issues to help them engage with health services and receive appropriate support

The funding will also be used to:

  • Provide private counselling sessions for those who have a history of trauma
  • Top up the personalisation budget which helps rough sleepers with transport to appointments, birth certificates, furniture for their new home as well as funding for meaningful occupation such as transport to volunteering opportunities
  • Top up the existing hotel and bed and breakfast budget - this allows the council to make off the street offers to rough sleepers as a temporary measure to help them get back on track and engage with services, pending longer-term accommodation being found.
  • Top up the existing Private Rented Sector incentive - this allow the council to financially support rough sleepers with deposit and rent in advance into private rented accommodation.

Cllr Phil Alford, Cabinet Member for Housing said: "We already work hard to help our rough sleepers turn their lives around and encourage them into a good place where they have a roof over their heads, a stable routine and can start to look to the future. I'm pleased we have many positive stories of this happening.

"However we cannot ignore the fact many rough sleepers have mental health issues and they need support to address underlying issues as well as the material support. The appointment of a mental health social worker builds on the work we already do and expands the support and guidance we offer people. Our hope is we can help more rough sleepers not only get their life back on track but keep going in the right direction."

The publication regarding the announcement can be found at GOV.UK: Guidance - Rough Sleeping Initiative: 2022 to 2025 updated funding allocations (opens new window).

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