£66 million funding to provide safe and warm accommodation for rough sleepers over winter

Rough sleepers will be helped into safe and warm accommodation and treatment services for drug and alcohol dependency this winter, supported by an extra £66 million the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced today (29 October 2021).

The support will help rough sleepers off the streets at a time of year when they face falling temperatures and give them an opportunity to turn their lives around by ending the cycle of addiction.

Building on the success of the Everyone In initiative, which supported 37,000 vulnerable people into longer term accommodation during the pandemic, this support will continue to help rough sleepers off the streets.

Today's announcement will help to deliver the government's commitment to end rough sleeping by 2024.

  • More than 60 councils have been allocated a share of the up to £52 million Drug and Alcohol Treatment Grant scheme for specialist support services for rough sleepers and those at risk, including one-to-one support and mentoring.
  • Voluntary, faith and community groups have been awarded grants from the £3.8 million Homelessness Transformation Fund to transform shared accommodation into COVID-secure, self-contained accommodation, giving rough sleepers safe places to stay.
  • Additionally, up to 3,500 rough sleepers will be provided with emergency accommodation, with areas most in need of support to tackle rough sleeping invited to bid for funding from the £10 million Winter Pressures Fund.

Rough sleeping has already reduced by over a third but the government will go even further with £640 million invested each year over the next 3 years to tackle the issue - a 85% increase in funding compared to 2019.

This builds on the £202 million for councils to continue to help people off the streets, funding 14,500 bed spaces for rough sleepers and 2,700 specialist support staff. This is on top of £112 million invested last year.

Those at risk of eviction are also being helped through the £310 million Homelessness Prevention Grant, with councils providing financial support or helping households find new homes. A £16 million pilot is also helping end the cycle of homelessness and hospital admissions by providing temporary accommodation, care and support for rough sleepers leaving hospital.

Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, Eddie Hughes MP said:

Rough sleepers are some of the most vulnerable people in our society and we must help them off the streets and end the plight of rough sleeping once and for all.

That means providing somewhere safe and warm for them to stay, and this funding will be a lifeline for thousands as the temperature drops this winter.

We are also helping those trapped in drug and alcohol addiction and giving them the stability they need to turn their lives around."

Minister for Care, Gillian Keegan, said:

It's crucial we support people experiencing homelessness - particularly those wanting to break the cycle of addiction.

This additional funding will not only help those personally fighting drug and alcohol addiction, but it will also benefit their friends, families and the communities who are also impacted by the consequences of substance misuse.

More widely, we continue to support people without a home, including around access to vaccines throughout the pandemic, and recently announcing £16 million for pilot projects to support homeless people being discharged from hospital."

Kathy Mohan, CEO at Housing Justice:

We're pleased that we have for the second year running, been able to provide substantial funding for faith and community groups to provide COVID secure emergency accommodation in their local area.

These smaller organisations are at the centre of many communities' response to homelessness, often operating on tight budgets.

This funding provides an opportunity for extra beds, implementing new ideas and increasing the options available to people experiencing rough sleeping"

Rick Henderson, CEO at Homeless Link:

As the winter months approach, it's vital organisations have the capacity to provide single room accommodation to help reduce the number of people sleeping rough, while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Therefore, I am delighted to announce the list of grantees for this fund. I hope this winter provides a blueprint for future models of winter homelessness support, with single room accommodation becoming the norm."

Programmes and projects to benefit from the announcement include:

  • Leeds: funding a street-based psychologist, who refers rough sleepers to mental health and substance misuse services and a drop-in clinic in the city centre which also provides specialist support.
  • Westminster: funding the Westminster Rough Sleepers Drug and Alcohol Service, ensuring rough sleepers can access treatment programmes. Support is also provided for rough sleepers to access education, employment, or training once they have completed treatment.
  • Southampton: more staff are supporting those with complex needs and substance misuse issues and a clinical psychologist is making sure that those with mental health issues get the support they need.
  • Cambridge: funding a local charity working in partnership with the council to provide 20-bed self-contained rooms for a safe place this winter and route off the streets.
  • London: funding the All People All Places project that will provide support for 50 people in the winter months.

The Drug and Alcohol Treatment Grant is entering its second year and is already supporting people sleeping rough in 43 councils to access structured drug and alcohol treatment including counselling, detox and rehab services.

Funding allocations

Rough Sleeping Drug and Alcohol Treatment Grant and Homelessness Transformation Fund funding breakdowns

Rough Sleeping Drug & Alcohol Treatment Grant

Homelessness Transformation Fund

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The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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