Extra funding to help homeless people

Published Wednesday, 22nd May 2019

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Extra funding has been given by central Government to help homeless people within Southend-on-Sea.

The Council successfully bid for slightly under £250,000 of additional funding from the Rapid Rehousing Pathway, to be spent on employing navigators and support staff, and essential costs, to help homeless people set up independently and move out of emergency accommodation,

The bid was submitted to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and includes:

  • two Peabody workers to support people with a history of homelessness to sustain their tenancies and avoid repeated homelessness
  • four navigators, including one focusing on solutions for those with ‘no recourse to public funds’, to give homeless people the ongoing support to sustain their new life away from the streets
  • funds to help people to establish their independence with furniture and white goods

Glyn Halksworth, interim director for housing, said: “This is great news as until now we have concentrated our efforts on rough sleepers, emergency housing and high support services. But those who are successfully off the streets then need to move on to a more permanent housing situation, so those emergency and high support services are available to others who need it.

“This funding will help us with that. The two new posts will help maintain independence and avoid further periods of homelessness or rough sleeping and the four navigators will be the single point of contact, checking in with physical and emotional support to help former rough sleepers. That ongoing contact also gives navigators the opportunity to spot any issues early and signpost clients to the right service to seek specialist help, a vital part of supporting those with complex needs move away from rough sleeping. 

“We pledged to address homelessness within Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and this progresses that agenda by ensuring the sustainability of the projects and services already in place, and doing a wonderful job, to get people away from the streets in the first place.

“As part of our Housing, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy we should address all aspects of housing and make sure everyone who is homeless is properly supported in their journey to get off the streets and into a stable, safe and secure home.”

Other services commissioned by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council for current and former rough sleepers include:

  •          funding the rough sleeper outreach team
  •          church winter night shelter coordination
  •          HARP’s Sit-up Service and night shelter
  •          A multi-agency rough sleeper coordinator
  •          and specialist help in drug and alcohol based services
  •          in addition to night shelter spaces at HARP, YMCA, Sanctuary Supported Living, Homegroup, and Southend-on-Sea Domestic Abuse Project.

The Council’s Housing Solutions Team operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to prevent homelessness in the first place, assisting hundreds of people and families every year who are either homeless, or threatened with homelessness. We liaise with landlords, mediate with family members, provide over 110 temporary accommodation bed spaces, assist people in to supported housing, source properties and provide loans to help people move in to settled accommodation.