Homelessness in Southport as a person sleeps outside St Mark's Medical Centre

Rough sleepers are set to be helped off the streets and into safe accommodation thanks to more than half a million pounds being handed to Sefton Council. 

Sefton is being allocated £579,545 as part of a further £203 million in support across England.

The funding will support vital projects such as shelters, specialist mental health or addiction services, and targeted support to help rough sleepers off the streets for good.

It will be used by councils, charities and other local groups to fund up to 14,500 bed spaces and 2,700 support staff across England.

This funding is one part of an unprecedented £750 million investment this year to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping – part of the government’s drive to end rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament.

Analysis of the Rough Sleeping Initiative – now in its fourth year – shows that the programme has reduced rough sleeping by almost a third compared to areas which have not taken part in the programme.

Building on the past success of the programme, funding has almost doubled this year and will provide additional support to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of people sleeping rough across England has fallen for the third year in a row, and by 37% in the last year alone.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

At the beginning of the pandemic we took swift and decisive action to bring rough sleepers in from the streets and settled them into longer-term accommodation in record numbers. That work continues, the results are clear and are a huge credit to all involved.

Ending rough sleeping is a personal mission for the Prime Minister and me – and we have made huge progress since he came into No.10, reducing rough sleeping by 43%.

To build on this progress, we are making the biggest ever investment under the Rough Sleeping Initiative to provide vital services to those who need it most, as part of our drive to end rough sleeping for good.

The Rough Sleeping Initiative was launched in 2018 to help local areas provide tailored services to those living on the streets. With today’s investment, the government has now allocated almost £400 million to 281 councils through the programme – which supports coordinated projects across areas including housing, mental health, addiction support and domestic abuse.

Funding from previous years of the programme is already having a transformational effect at a local level with local authorities reporting significant falls in the number of rough sleepers.

Today’s announcement comes after the government made an additional £212 million investment in new, secure, long-term accommodation for rough sleepers earlier this year, with 6,000 homes pledged by the end of this Parliament.

This is alongside the government’s Everyone In initiative, launched by the Housing Secretary at the start of the pandemic to protect rough sleepers, which has so far supported 37,000 people, with more than 26,000 already moved on to longer-term accommodation.

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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