Funding for Harlow Council’s proposals to help rough sleepers into housing backed by the Government.

Homeless survey

Harlow Council’s proposals to help get people sleeping rough in the town into housing have been backed by the Government.

The Council will receive £260,500 for 2018/19 as part of a targeted Government £30m fund.

The funding will be used on a range of measures to provide specialist support to rough sleepers. These measures include:

Employing a full-time co-ordinator to oversee services and support for rough sleepers.
Funding two extra outreach/tenancy support workers to work for Streets2Homes.
Providing support to help get people off the street and into settled accommodation suited to their needs.
Extending severe weather provision across the winter period (November to February) so a range of different accommodation types can be provided to suit individual circumstances.
Turning disused Council properties into short-term supported accommodation where up to six rough sleepers can stay and receive targeted support from Streets2homes.

Councillor Mark Wilkinson, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “It is great news that our plans will get the funding needed. It means, working with Streets2Homes, we can implement all the measures we propose to support the different needs of different rough sleepers. These measures aim to give local rough sleepers the support they need leading up to and including the next winter period.

“Behind every rough sleeper’s story there are usually many different circumstances and complex situations. We know that rough sleepers need more than just a place to live – that is the first solution for many – but it’s the specialist support and help over the long term which is equally important.

“Sadly, some people choose to sleep rough and reject support; overcoming these barriers is all part of the project.

“We will work closely with the Government, monitoring how these measures work and looking at ways beyond next year that the right support can remain with the funding it needs.”

There were 24 rough sleepers in Harlow when the last estimated rough sleeper count took place in November 2017. This figure has continued to increase every year since 2010 when there were 7 rough sleepers in the town.

This year during the severe weather Harlow’s emergency provision was activated three times and supported up to 36 people sleeping rough.

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4 Responses to "Funding for Harlow Council’s proposals to help rough sleepers into housing backed by the Government."

  1. JerryFromQueens   June 11, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    However secure we think we are, we’re just a crisis away from being without a home, so in a very real sense the people out on the streets are in fact us. If we’re helping them, we’re helping us.

    A reliable home and a certain roof over one’s head is where all things can bloom. Security, a steady job, family, friends and a sense of belonging, worth and hope for the future.

    The new-look council team’s bright start continues apace, taking up causes that should concern us all. The targeted approach in recognising the many factors in homelessness is evidence of the work a local authority can do with councillors that have more time to focus on their portfolios and an early vindication of Cllr Ingall’s reinvigorated agenda.

  2. Jon   June 12, 2018 at 6:24 am

    Are you really claiming that a joint funding application between Streets2Homes and the council, started some time ago, and part of a long term plan by Streets2homes for accommodation is ‘an early vindication of Cllr Ingall’s reinvigorated agenda’?! Wow, we really are in a post-fact world.

  3. m ingall   June 12, 2018 at 7:22 am

    It’s kind of you to give me the credit JFQ, but the success of this bid for funds is down to Labour Councillor Mark Wilkinson, who works so hard and who is so effective as our Housing Portfolio holder, and his team. It does however show that Harlow is ambitious in exploring every avenue we can to improve the lives of everybody in Harlow.

  4. JerryFromQueens   June 12, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Of course, I have nothing but praise for Cllr Wilkinson for pursuing this cause.

    Just this morning in The Stow I passed by a rough sleeper (who also had the indignity of having his photo taken by someone walking by) so the need is there for policies such as this and I’m glad Mark and the council treat it with the seriousness it deserves.

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