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Wiltshire Council receives more than £500,000 in Government funding to help prevent rough sleeping

Wiltshire Council has been awarded £547,825 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) to continue its rough sleeper prevention work, which has seen the rehousing of 130 rough sleepers in the county over the past 12 months.

Published 21 May 2021
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Wiltshire Council has been awarded £547,825 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) to continue its rough sleeper prevention work, which has seen the rehousing of 130 rough sleepers in the county over the past 12 months.

Most of the funding will be spent on officers who will work with rough sleepers to help them into suitable accommodation, while some of it will also be used to fund the Haven Hostel in Trowbridge, a seven-bed hostel that houses people helped off the streets in a communal living setting, in partnership with Alabare.

Cllr Phil Alford, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "Our Outreach Team does a superb job in preventing rough sleeping in Wiltshire and finding suitable accommodation for people who need it. The funding will help us to build on this excellent work, which has seen us halve the number of rough sleepers in Wiltshire over the past year.

"The funding will enable us to employ four extra officers to increase our outreach and prevention work, and it will help us to continue to work with vulnerable people that have complex needs and issues in our county.

"More than £80,000 will also be spent on the Haven Hostel in Trowbridge, which offers accommodation and support to people to engage with other agencies such as substance misuse services, and helps to move them into housing, self-contained or supported accommodation, dependent on their individual needs.

"The past year, during the pandemic, has been both extremely challenging and successful for our dedicated Rough Sleepers Outreach Team. They have placed more than 130 rough sleepers into accommodation during the pandemic, and many of these people have since moved into permanent housing and have taken part in employment training.

"At our last national rough sleepers count, in November, there were 12 people on the streets.

"I'd urge anyone that sees a rough sleeper in Wiltshire to report it using the StreetLink website or app, as this will enable our teams to engage with them and help them get the support they need."

During the pandemic, the council has been awarded more than £1.3m to support rough sleepers in Wiltshire, enabling it to increase its support and effectiveness. The new funding will allow that work to continue and be built on.

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Published 21 May 2021