North Devon’s rough sleepers to be helped by government funding

Posted on: 28 May 2019

Rough sleepers in North Devon are being given a further helping hand, thanks to government funding.

North Devon Council has been granted £83,500 as a result of a recent funding bid by their housing team. The money will be used to fund twenty supported tenancies over the next 12 months, with accommodation being provided by Freedom Community Alliance. The tenancies will be exclusively for rough sleepers leaving the street, former rough sleepers and those at imminent risk of rough sleeping.

A full-time ‘Navigator’ will also be employed to work intensively with the area’s longer-term rough sleepers to give them a single point of contact and support through a pathway system to settled accommodation. The Navigator will support individuals in their recovery to find employment, undertake training, develop budgeting skills and form positive social circles to ensure they are better equipped to maintain their accommodation and independence and avoid returning to the street.

These new initiatives will complement the existing Enhanced Rough Sleeper Service which is made up of outreach workers, a full-time drug and alcohol specialist, an adult social worker and imminently joining the team is a mental health specialist.

Service Lead for Housing Equality at North Devon Council, Natasha Rowland, says: “We are so pleased to have been granted this funding from the government, which will be invaluable in helping our district’s rough sleepers over the next 12 months. Our aim is to get people off the streets and into settled accommodation, and to give them the support and skills to reintegrate into the community.”

Philip Noall, Chief Executive for Freedom Community Alliance, says: “We are delighted to be partnering with North Devon Council again on the delivery of these important services. Both the supported tenancies and the full-time Navigator role will assist in developing a ‘Rapid Rehousing Pathway’ for rough sleepers in North Devon. These services are a fundamental part of the Governments Rough Sleeper Strategy published in August 2018.”

Freedom work with a range of vulnerable groups including homeless people, those suffering from addiction issues, people with poor physical and mental health, debt and poverty and those who simply want to improve their health or improve their life skills. More information is available on their website freedomcommunityalliance.org.uk.

If you believe you are at risk of becoming homeless, get in touch with North Devon Council as soon as you can on 01271 388870 or email customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk.

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Posted in: Housing