rough sleepers - funding - pic by Evelyn Simak creative commons licence

Cheshire East Council has been given £400,000 of Government funding to help the borough’s rough sleepers.

The council will receive £438,329.30 from a £112 million pot as part of the government’s rough sleeping programme.

Working with charities and faith groups, the council says it will use the money to continue its drive to reduce the number of people sleeping on the streets.

It aims to fund beds in various locations and employ a team of support workers to encourage rough sleepers to use recognised accommodation.

The authority used Government funding last year to appoint a rough sleeping coordinator.

They built an outreach team to support rough sleepers, encouraging them to come in off the streets.

The team can also direct those in need towards emergency and longer-term accommodation.

They also provide long-term help and advice, which can lead to more permanent accommodation and employment.

Cllr Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “This further round of funding will help us to develop important work in prisons and in our hospitals where some of our rough sleepers can end up.

“We want to make sure they have somewhere to go when discharged back into society and prevent a ‘revolving door’ scenario – where people end up back on the streets, sleeping rough.

“We have managed to keep our numbers of rough sleepers in the borough fairly low but one rough sleeper is one too many.

“We are eager to tackle the harmful effects of homelessness through a proactive prevention programme, as these can have a severe impact on family life and on children as well as an individual’s mental health and wellbeing.”

Residents can report sightings of rough sleepers by calling 0300 123 5017.

In the year to March 2019, the council helped 129 homeless people on the streets into longer term accommodation and continued that success story with a further 97 successful outcomes later in the year.

Meanwhile, Crewe & Nantwich MP Kieran Mullan has welcomed additional funding to help “vulnerable” families in the borough.

Up to £165 million of additional funding for the Troubled Families programme will be available in 2020/21, with £844,600 set aside to help 437 families in Cheshire East.

It will fund support for those affected by unemployment, poor school attendance, mental health problems, anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse.

Dr Mullan said: “I know that here in Cheshire East we have seen positive results for hundreds of families involved in the programme in terms of reductions in crime, improvements in health, education and access to employment.”

(pic for display only, by Evelyn Simak creative commons licence)

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