Coventry City Council has secured a further two-year funding package which will help provide services to prevent rough sleeping, and to further develop its work with partner agencies in the city.
The Council made a successful bid to secure a further £453, 379 from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) from 2023-25. It ensures that a number of services already in place are able to continue.
It will help fund staff involved in outreach, and specialist support for people who have complex needs and who often find themselves sleeping on the streets. The money will also be used for targeted services.
Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “We welcome this funding because we want a more longer-term strategic approach to ending rough sleeping.
“We have excellent joint working, and we already have a strong and compassionate outreach team that has been able to respond quickly and effectively to rough sleeping and reduce the need for people to rough sleep. This funding will continue to support this work.”
“It will also support longer term recovery and preventing rough sleeping in the first place.
“It is a multi-agency approach here in Coventry that I’m delighted we can build upon. It makes a real difference to peoples’ lives. Service users value the work done, it makes a massive difference to their outlook and gives people hope.”
“However, there has been an increase in the numbers of families and singles who are presenting as homeless and in temporary accommodation coinciding with inflation rates and cost of rent. This is a concern because the issue is much bigger than just rough sleeping, and we need an increase in funding support right across our homelessness service.”
The current outreach team is multi-functional, including specialist roles and projects that tackle the local issues we see in Coventry including a: complex women’s navigator, a navigator working with Non-UK residents who have no recourse to public funds; a drug and alcohol treatment specialist; and a mental health community worker.
It also includes a number of staff working to support ex-rough sleepers in their new accommodation to help prevent them returning to homelessness as well as working with ex-offenders to help them settle in and sustain new accommodation.
Jim Crawshaw, Head of Housing and Homelessness, said: “We will support people for as long as they need it and work with a range of accommodation providers in the city to secure accommodation.
“It’s important to know that there are people with complex needs who prefer to sleep out even when accommodation is available to them. We have empty beds most nights and despite our intervention people often don’t accept the support. However even when people refuse support we continue to engage with them and offer our services with the hope that at some point they will want to engage with us.
“The additional funding will allow the team to focus more on prevention and recovery, whilst still maintaining our ability to respond and support people in crisis.”