Sunderland to share in £850,000 fund to get homeless people off the streets in the North East

Sunderland is to get a slice of an £850,000 pot to get homeless people in the North East off the streets and into accommodation.

Monday, 25th March 2019, 12:04 pm
Updated Monday, 25th March 2019, 12:08 pm
Picture by PA

The Government announced today that investment totalling more than three quarters of a million pounds has been allocated to the region.

Across the North East, it is estimated that the money will provide funding for up to 10 new staff working with homeless people, and 74 additional bed spaces.

Charities have been continuing to highlight the increasing homelessness in the UK, with a 169% increase reported last year, and Labour politicians have been quick to blame the Conservative Government's policies for the problem.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said the funding announced today demonstrated the Government’s "commitment to tackling the issue and ending rough sleeping once and for all".

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He said: “The £100million-backed Rough Sleeping Strategy sets out this Government’s blueprint for ending rough sleeping for good across the North East and the rest of the country.

“We are taking the necessary steps to make that happen, already providing already providing 2600 additional beds and 750 more support staff for the most vulnerable people in our society.

“But we must keep up the momentum and that’s why we are giving this funding to areas and projects in the that need it, ensuring progress continues to be made and people are given the help they need to turn their lives around.”

The money forms part of the Government’s £100million Rough Sleeping Strategy and will be used to fund rough sleeping coordinator roles, add new or additional outreach services and extend existing or provide new temporary accommodation. This includes night shelters and hostel spaces.

There is also an opportunity to provide housing-led solutions such as Housing First services.

This funding includes £34million for the 83 identified "Rough Sleeping Areas" and an additional £12million for other areas of the country.

Among the council's to benefit from the funding are twelve authorities in the North East which will benefit from funding to enhance outreach across the whole area.

The Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative, launched last spring, aims to provide more than £45million to councils over the next two years to support rough sleepers in their area off the streets and into secure accommodation where they can get the help they need to rebuild their lives.