Three new rough sleeping centres in Norfolk and Waveney from £3.9m fund

A homeless person sleeping in a doorway. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A homeless person sleeping in a doorway. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Three new homeless shelters are to open in Norfolk and Waveney after a £3.9m cash injection for the region.

Housing and homelessness minister Heather Wheeler announced on Friday that the east of England has been handed the money, and at least six new rough sleeping centres will open in East Anglia - including one in Norwich, one in Diss, and one in Lowestoft.

Some 18 councils across the region will split the money, and as well as the centres - the remaining three being in Bedford, Felixtowe, and Luton - the money will go towards support centres, lettings schemes and dedicated letting agencies.

The funding forms part of the government's £100-million backed rough sleeping strategy, which sets out detailed plans to end rough sleeping for good, with the aim of halving it by 2022.

Ms Wheeler said: 'We are taking steps to ensure people the east of England never have to face even one night on the streets.

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'These are vulnerable people, who may be dealing with complex mental health problems or addictions and require specialist support to tackle these issues and turn their lives around.

'The funding confirmed today will ensure those sleeping on the streets in the east of England have access to the professional help and guidance they need to get back on their feet – taking us one step closer to ending rough sleeping for good.'

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According to a report from housing charity Shelter in December, there were around 601 homeless people in Norfolk with the vast majority of them living in temporary accommodation and 49 sleeping on the streets.

Across the east of England, one in 306 people were homeless – the third-highest rate of England's nine regions.

The new rough sleeping centres will aim to give people on the streets access to professional help and guidance, including immediate shelter and mental health support.

While the support centres - know as navigator posts - will house specialist support workers who direct people to the services they need, such as counselling, housing advice services, mental health support or substance misuse services.

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