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Colchester welcomes more funding to support rough sleepers

An additional £296,144 will continue and extend existing initiatives

Date issued: 28 January 2020

Colchester is one of more than 300 local authorities across the country chosen by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to provide more support for rough sleepers.

Colchester’s successful bid for an additional £296,144 from MHCLG’s Rough Sleeper Initiative fund will continue the interventions already in place to reduce the number of people sleeping rough in the borough and help them into accommodation.

This latest funding was dependent on the success of the projects delivered during 2019-20 and will be used to continue and extend those initiatives in 2020-21 including:

  • a 'housing first' approach, in partnership with a registered provider of supported housing, that provides a stable platform from which other issues can be addressed and wider support accessed
  • an Early Response Rough Sleeper Co-ordinator
  • assertive street outreach, especially out of hours provision and reconnection.
  • Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP), from October to mid-March, and
  • navigator roles to provide intensive support to clients with multiple disadvantage

In addition, the funding will also provide a Health Support Specialist to join the team.

Since 2016, Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Borough Homes have secured £901,727 from the government Rough Sleeper funding streams to help prevent and reduce rough sleeping by helping clients access accommodation and support.

Councillor Adam Fox, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured this additional funding, which will continue our work to address rough sleeping in the borough.

The council, with the assistance of Colchester Borough Homes and a range of local support and accommodation providers, already delivers several projects that are helping to make a real difference to the lives of rough sleepers and vulnerable people at risk of homelessness.

“The reasons why people find themselves in a vulnerable position on the streets are extremely complex. We believe people should be treated as individuals and have the opportunity to access a package of support from appropriate agencies.

Everyone has a role to play in tackling rough sleeping. With public support, we can improve lives and make a Better Colchester for everybody. If you see a rough sleeper and are concerned for their welfare, please report them directly to support services who can help them via Street Link.

If you see someone sleeping rough, visit www.streetlink.org.uk download the free mobile app for Apple and Android, or call 0300 500 0914.

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