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Long-term rough sleepers to get extra support after funding boost

Published: Wednesday, 29th November 2023

Extra support is being rolled out for rough sleepers in Stoke-on-Trent following a successful bid for funding.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been awarded £800,813 from the Department of Levelling Up, Homes and Communities’ (DLUHC) Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP) to provide supported accommodation for people sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough in the city.

The funding will be used to help plug the gap in provision for specialised supported accommodation for individuals who have a long history of rough sleeping and those with complex needs.

Councillor Chris Robinson, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and planning, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding to help us increase the support we are able to provide to our city’s most vulnerable residents.

“Our teams work extremely hard to ensure all our residents are supported but we know that there is a clear need for additional, specialised accommodation for rough sleepers in the city. Now, with the help of our partners, we will be able to provide more individuals with a warm and safe place to stay.

“We want to prevent homelessness and tackle rough sleeping in the city but getting people off the streets is only the start. We need to ensure that the necessary support is in place to help these individuals address serious and complex issues to enable them to rebuild their lives.”

The funding from DLUHC has enabled the city council to award a services contract to Brighter Futures Housing Association.

The contract will see Brighter Futures provide additional support at its Hope Street hostel, in Hanley, and two other move-on accommodation schemes in Hanley. It will ensure individuals are able to sustain tenancies and engage with other support agencies, so they do not return to rough sleeping on the streets of Stoke-on-Trent.

The funding will also pay for additional staff resources for a period of three years.

Daniel Baker, head of housing and tenancy sustainment for Brighter Futures, said: “We have a long history of providing essential homelessness outreach and accommodation services in Stoke-on-Trent, working in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

“We are delighted that DLUHC has recognised the value of the housing pathway Brighter Futures provides for rough sleepers, which seeks to not only support them to achieve stability and sustain a roof over their head, but also to help them achieve a life of independence where they can flourish.

“This funding will release 31 additional bed spaces for those with the most complex needs who currently are unable to find or sustain longer term accommodation.”

Anyone concerned about a person sleeping rough, or at risk of sleeping rough, is encouraged to report it to the city council via the website or by calling the Rough Sleepers team on 0800 970 2304 which is a free phone number.

Alternatively visit www.brighter-futures.org.uk or www.thestreetlink.org.uk.