Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been awarded more than £300,000 to support rough sleepers.
The Rough Sleeping Initiative Government grant will be used to tackle rough sleeping in the city to help move people off the streets and into accommodation.
The city council is one of 83 local authorities across the country to benefit from a £30 million Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) funding pot, and will receive a total of £306,370.
The ring-fenced money will provide extra bed spaces for rough sleepers and for staff to work with the homeless to help reduce the repeat cycle of homelessness and entrenched rough sleeping in the city.
It will also help to move people on from supported or temporary accommodation by providing help for them to sustain independent living.
The council will be supported by the Government’s new Rough Sleeping Initiative Team consisting of experts from the sector with a proven track record of successfully helping rough sleepers and preventing those at risk from becoming homeless.
Councillor Randy Conteh, the city council’s cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, said: “We are committed to supporting all people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“Last year, working with our partners, we prevented more than 1,400 households from becoming homeless by either helping them to remain in their current home or supporting them with a move to a new one.
“There is a wide range of services available in the city for people who are sleeping rough or are homeless, including facilities provided by Arch, Brighter Futures, the Salvation Army and at the Macari Centre. We work with partners to ensure the right mixture of services is in place to help homeless people turn their lives around.
“There are also a number of drug and alcohol, counselling, support and treatment services in place to help people.
“The council is experiencing increasing costs at the same time as a reduction in Government funding, and we are having to make some difficult decisions while ensuring we can deliver essential services to the most vulnerable in our community.
“This extra funding will help us improve the co-ordination of and extend our homelessness services to make a real difference to these people – ensuring they are supported to live their lives well.”
Anyone who is concerned about someone sleeping rough in the city should contact the Rough Sleepers Outreach Team on 0800 970 2304.
For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232265.