Wiltshire Council receives extra cold weather funding to help rough sleepers this winter
Wiltshire Council has received £41,380 in further government funding to help rough sleepers in the county.
The council will work closely with partners Alabaré to house rough sleepers to fulfil the Government's Prevent Programme, which ensures that people on the streets are able to engage with services and have offers of accommodation.
The funding will be spent on the purchasing of accommodation and suitable bedding to ensure that rough sleepers are protected this winter.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
This welcome funding will enable Alabaré, our accommodation charity partner, to make adaptations to its accommodation to house more rough sleepers this winter in a COVID-secure way.
We will also use the funding to secure B&B accommodation and expand the options of safe accommodation we provide this winter.
At our last quarterly count, we had 14 rough sleepers in the county, and we have since carried out our annual count, the results of which will be released nationally in the new year. Any number of rough sleepers is too many, but the relatively low number in Wiltshire is testament to the excellent work of our Rough Sleepers Outreach team, who work tirelessly to find suitable routes into accommodation for all rough sleepers in the county.
Our housing teams have seen an increase in their prevention work by 50% during this pandemic to work with families who are at risk of homelessness and help them to find alternative accommodation.
We believe that nobody should be sleeping on the streets in Wiltshire, and everyone should have access to appropriate support and suitable placements to ensure there is a route off the streets - and we are committed to achieving that.
Andrew Lord, Alabaré Chief Executive, said:
Major steps have been taken in helping rough sleepers through the Covid pandemic, and we welcome this additional funding for Wiltshire to help ensure we can reach those who on the streets who are amongst the most vulnerable in our communities.
At Alabaré we are very concerned of the long-term effects of Covid and lockdown, and the likely rise in the number of people needing support. We will continue to work with Wiltshire Council and other partner agencies to try and ensure that no-one is homeless this Christmas, and work together to help those in crisis to rebuild their lives.
If anyone is concerned about someone sleeping rough, please let the council know using the StreetLink app or the Streetlink website.
To donate to Alabaré, go to the Alabare website.