A project helping people with complex mental health or addiction issues find and/or maintain suitable accommodation is set to receive an £88,460 boost from the Government’s £25 million fund for rough sleepers.
Colchester Borough Council, in partnership with Colchester Borough Homes, bid successfully for the funding to help deliver its Rapid Rehousing Pathway.
The money will provide specialist support to help vulnerable people access the services they need, such as counselling, housing advice, mental health support or substance misuse services.
Colchester is one of 108 local authorities across the country chosen by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and will receive the funding in two tranches – the second in November 2019 if targets are met.
Cllr Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “I am pleased to welcome this government funding, which will extend our work to address rough sleeping in Colchester and enable vulnerable individuals to access a package of support from appropriate agencies.
“This latest funding will make a difference in supporting vulnerable people sleeping rough in our community receive support to tackle mental health or addiction issues, turn their lives around and find a place they can eventually call home.
“However, we should not lose sight of the fact there are wider social issues causing people to become homeless and sleep rough that we, as a council, cannot tackle alone.
“While we and our partners are doing a great deal here in Colchester to plug the gaps left by Government, there is clearly more to do. Nationally, the Government also needs to address the wider issues giving rise to homelessness, including a prolonged lack of investment in housing and our public services.”
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.
Last year, Colchester Borough Homes and Colchester Council secured more than £300,000 from the MHCLG to employ outreach workers, increase bed spaces in homeless shelters, pilot a Housing First approach and boost provision of its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol.
Further information about these projects and the Colchester Homelessness Strategy and Prevention Charter can be found here: https://www.colchester.gov.uk/info/cbc-article/?catid=strategies-policies-statistics&id=KA-01437 and here https://www.colchester.gov.uk/homelessnesspledge.