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How £870k to help rough sleepers in Norwich will be spent

PUBLISHED: 09:20 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:20 29 January 2020

Andy Baker, Pathways support worker, giving out free food to Mark Digby, 56, who is homeless in Norwich, during the July heatwave. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Andy Baker, Pathways support worker, giving out free food to Mark Digby, 56, who is homeless in Norwich, during the July heatwave. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

SOPHIE WYLLIE

An £870,000 cash injection from the government to combat rough sleeping in Norwich will create new support worker roles and increase access to detox services among other initiatives.

Kevin Maguire, Labour 's cabinet member for safe and sustainable city environment at Norwich City Council. Pic: Archant Library.Kevin Maguire, Labour 's cabinet member for safe and sustainable city environment at Norwich City Council. Pic: Archant Library.

Norwich City Council will be awarded £869,534 in the next financial year to help its response to homelessness - part of a £112m national drive to address the problem.

It is the largest sum given to a council in Norfolk by a significant distance, with some £1.4m dedicated to the county in total.

And the city council has set out how it will use the six-figure sum, which it had to apply for ahead of the award.

Among the provisions it will allow for is the continuation of the Pathways service, a multi-organisational approach to working with rough sleepers involving the council, St Martins and other charities and groups.

It will also allow to council to continue other current interventions, such as the employment of a mental health nurse, a winter shelter post and additional hostel beds.

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Kevin Maguire, Norwich City Council's cabinet member with responsibility for rough sleeping, said: "We are not seeing a let up in the numbers of people ending up on the street due to a lack of support available for substance misuse and mental health issues.

"This funding is needed to address gaps in specialist provision for people with multiple and complex needs, extending and adding to the support provided through the Pathways service.

"There is a commitment from all partners and commissioners to address this, but it will take time and investment to make a real impact."

Additionally, the funding will improve access to detox services and allow the creation of new support worker roles and a drug and alcohol nurse, who will work closely with Public Health and Change Grow Live.

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith has welcomed the funding boost.

She said: "I am delighted to see Norwich receiving this additional funding to help tackle rough sleeping. This vital investment will help people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes improve their lives and get back on their feet."

MORE: More than £1.4m of government cash to help tackle homelessness - but how much is your council getting?


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