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Funding secured to help rough sleepers in East Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 16:54 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:00 29 January 2020

A homeless person sleeping in a doorway. Photo: Getty Images/saints4757

A homeless person sleeping in a doorway. Photo: Getty Images/saints4757

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A council has secured funding from the government to support rough sleepers in East Suffolk.

East Suffolk Council will be awarded £693,735 in the next financial year to help its response to homelessness - part of a £112m national drive to help get people off the streets and into safe accommodation.

The funding, which comes following a successful bid to the government's Rough Sleeping Initiative, is being made available in the 2020/21 financial year, with councils in Norfolk securing a total of £1.4m in funding

The cash injection in East Suffolk means that over the next year two new street outreach worker roles will be created along with a specialist to work with vulnerable adults.

The funding will also enable the council to retain the services of a rough sleeper co-ordinator, specialist mental health workers and ensures the continuation of an eight-bed rapid assessment hub in Lowestoft.

Staff will be solely focused on working with those sleeping on the streets, providing increased support and helping to find accommodation for those in need.

Richard Kerry, East Suffolk's cabinet member for housing, said: "Through our work with our partners, we are committed to increasing the support available to people sleeping rough in East Suffolk and preventing homelessness by tackling the underlying causes and supporting vulnerable households.

"We have seen a decrease in the number of rough sleepers this year however we are determined to further reduce this figure."

A council spokesman said that by working with local partners, including Notting Hill Genesis Housing Association, Access Community Trust, Anglia Care Trust, Home Group and other partners, they are "continuously working to reduce the number of rough sleepers."

A report entitled: "Acceptance of Ministry of Housing, Communities And Local Government (MHCLG) Rough Sleeping grant funding" is due to be discussed by East Suffolk's cabinet next Tuesday, February 4 at East Suffolk House, Melton.

It states: "The annual 2019 Rough Sleeper count identified a total of 13 rough sleepers in East Suffolk, which represents a 41 per cent reduction on the previous year.

"Although this is a positive position, we need to ensure that this number is not just sustained but further reduced.

"The challenge in maintaining and improving the performance is the amount of 'hidden' homeless people with at least 150 single households who are either of No Fixed Abode or who remain rough sleeping for various reasons."

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