£1.8m Funding Boost for Homelessness Services
Homelessness services in South Tyneside have been given a funding boost of more than £1.8million.
The council has been awarded a share of money following a successful joint bid with Gateshead to the government's Rough Sleeping Initiative.
The funding will be used over three years to provide emergency accommodation to get people off the streets, supported housing units to help people move on with support from sustainment officers, and a round-the-clock outreach team to respond to reports of rough sleepers.
Cllr Ruth Berkley, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Equalities, said: "We're really pleased to have secured this funding, which will allow us to continue and extend our ongoing work to tackle rough sleeping.
"This was a joint bid with our neighbouring authority, Gateshead and will result in an increase in the number of sevices on offer across our two boroughs, as we often see people migrating between the two.
"Sadly, the cost of living crisis may mean that more people are at risk of homelessness.
"The funding will enable us to further develop our successful prevention work as well as providing emergency and move-on accommodation with intensive support to help people gain the skills they need for independent living.
"We can also continue to provide a 24-hour outreach service, meaning we can respond to reports of rough sleepers straight away."
The council carries out a bi-monthly head count of rough sleepers in the Borough and at the last count, in July, identified four people.
Cllr Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Community Safety, said: "Fortunately in South Tyneside we don't have the scale of problem experienced in other parts of the country, however even one person sleeping on our streets is too many.
"The reasons why people end up homeless are complex and we take a holistic approach to ensure these vulnerable residents get access to the support they need and avoid repeat homelessness."
Earlier this month the government published its £2billion Rough Sleeping Strategy, which includes up to £500 million over three years for the Rough Sleeping Initiative, which this year will help provide 14,000 beds for rough sleepers and 3,000 staff to provide tailored support across England. This includes helping individuals find work, manage their finances and access mental and physical health services.
If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness 0800 141 2645 (freephone) - Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, and Friday 9am to 4.30pm, or 0191 456 2093 - out of office hours.
If you see someone sleeping rough, you can report it https://www.streetlink.org.uk/ and will be picked up by an outreach team to offer support.