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£2m in grant support will help rough sleepers into treatment and employment

Published: Wednesday, 12th October 2022

Work to support rough sleepers in the city has been given a £2m boost after Stoke-on-Trent City Council secured grant funding that will deliver targeted support for drug and alcohol treatment and help

The city council has been awarded £1,663,397 over the next two years as part of the Rough Sleeping Drug and Alcohol Treatment Grant and £421,574 over the next three years as part of the Independent Placement and Support Grant from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID). The funding was approved by cabinet members at a meeting on Tuesday 11 October.

Rough sleeping can be the cause of addiction or a result of it and rough sleepers often find it harder to engage with treatment. The funding will allow the city council to provide wraparound support to address substance misuse and help people to find and stay in employment.

The funding comes as drug related deaths are at a record high across the country and the new drug strategy aims to cut crime, save lives, reduce supply and demand of drugs, and deliver a high-quality treatment and recovery system. Reducing drug and alcohol misuse is also one of the priorities in the city council’s new Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The strategy is the city’s plan for reducing health inequalities and improving health and wellbeing for residents of all ages.

Cllr Lorraine Beardmore, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Public Health said: “It’s fantastic news that we are being allocated this funding to further develop our substance misuse services. This fund will add to our also recently awarded £5 million to develop services in the city.

“We want our residents to live well and offering wraparound support, as well as tackling the causes of substance misuse and the misuse itself, will provide better outcomes for those accessing treatments. Helping people into long-term work will also further support better and sustainable outcomes as it is evidenced that those in employment are less likely to relapse.”

Cllr Abi Brown, leader of the city council said: “As a city council, one of our priorities is to work with residents and organisations to prevent homelessness. We have a range of support available for those who find themselves homeless and this funding will only add to that. It will allow us to deliver even more support for rough sleepers and help to achieve our vision of making sure that no one is forced to sleep rough in the city.

I would encourage anybody who sees someone sleeping rough in the city to contact the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team by calling 0800 970 2304.”