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£170,940 for housing provider to help rough sleepers off the streets

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£170,940 for housing provider to help rough sleepers off the streets

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities

Homeless Woman Homeless Woman

A West Midlands-based housing and care provider has been awarded a £170,940 grant to help rough sleepers off of the streets.

Midland Heart will use the funds to get rough sleepers into secure accommodation and back onto their feet.

Seventy people are estimated to be sleeping on the streets on any one night across the region.

The funding follows the launch of StreetLink, a new England-wide hotline and website which enables concerned members of the public to help connect a rough sleeper with local advice and services.

Since its launch in December, StreetLink has been contacted over 4,000 times by the public, far exceeding initial expectations.

This new grant will help Midland Heart deliver the StreetLink promise to provide the first step towards connecting rough sleepers with the support available to them.

The housing minister, Mark Prisk, said: "We have some of the strongest protections in the world against homelessness, and our £20 million investment to ensure nobody should have to face a second night on the streets is a key part of this.

"Today’s £170,940 for the West Midlands will mean that Midland Heart will help make this a reality. And with the addition of new rough sleeping hotline, StreetLink, people who want to make a difference in the West Midlands can now take a very simple step to connect rough sleepers quickly to the help they need."

Administered by umbrella organisation Homeless Link and funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the grant is part of £3,600,000 being awarded to 22 areas by the Homelessness Transition Fund (HTF).

The HTF was set up to support  ‘Vision to end rough sleeping: No Second Night Out nationwide’, the Government’s rough sleeping strategy.

Over 30 communities across England have already received funding to help put the right services in place so that no one spends a second night out.

Sharon Allen, chair of the Fund’s Grants Panel said: "Anyone can become homeless and life on the streets is damaging and dangerous. We know that some people sleeping rough may not be known to local services and not all rough sleepers are aware that advice and services are available.

"We hope this funding will ensure more rough sleepers in the West Midlands get the support they need. You can also help, save the StreetLink number - 0300 500 0914 - on your phone right now and next time you’re concerned about someone sleeping rough, make a call."

Chris Munday, director for care and support at Midland Heart, said: "This grant will fund a really important project which enables us to help entrenched rough sleepers to break out of a cycle of homelessness and into sustained accommodation.

"Our research to understand the best ways to support rough sleepers with a history of repeated homelessness found that new approaches are required to support customers with accommodation; but also for sustaining a home too.

"The project responds to these findings with a personalised approach to help vulnerable individuals with the most complex of needs; through our individually tailored support we can help rough sleepers to get back on their feet and ultimately to live independent lives."

In other news, Midland Heart has been selected as a finalist for two top Housing Innovation Awards. 

The Snow Hill, a new model of housing for homeless customers as well as individuals enjoying city centre accommodation, is shortlisted finalist for ‘Most Innovative Supported / Sheltered Housing Scheme’.

In addition Midland Heart has also been shortlisted for ‘Most Innovative Procurement Model’ with regards to its Environmental Services.

Ruth Cooke CEO of Midland Heart said:  "This is a really exciting opportunity for us. To be recognised as finalists for two very different awards underpins our drive to not only provide opportunities for local jobs for local people by reducing the barriers for smaller organisations to apply for procurement opportunities with Midland Heart, it also represents our passion to build new and exciting housing solutions for some of our most vulnerable customers."

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