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Communities Secretary announces recovery hubs for the homeless

Tuesday 18 December 2018

James Brokenshire MP, has announced £5 million in funding to support a network for rough sleeping hubs - aimed at ensuring those on the streets have access to professional help and guidance to start their recovery.

Following on from our story last week, the Communities Secretary has today announced further measures to help thousands of vulnerable people receive the specialist support they need to recover from life on the streets, through the creation of new rough sleeping centres.

As part of the Government’s £100 million Rough Sleeping Strategy, 11 Somewhere Safe to Stay centres will be set up across the country. These will help provide immediate shelter and rapid assessment for those sleeping rough, or at risk of becoming homeless, as well as specialist support to address those with complex needs such as mental health problems and substance misuse.

This builds on the first year of the Rough Sleeping Initiative, launched in March this year, which is providing £64 million to over 80 councils over the next two years to support rough sleepers in their area. This funding is already being put to good use by creating 1,750 new bed spaces, as well as an additional 500 outreach workers, many of whom are already working tirelessly to support people off the streets and into recovery.

Today’s announcement follows the publication of the government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy delivery plan earlier this month which set out targets and deadlines for 61 strategy commitments.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said: “No one should ever have to face a night on the streets, and as a government we are taking steps to ensure people are never faced with this as their only option.

“These are vulnerable people, who may be dealing with complex mental health problems or addictions and require specialist help to tackle these issues and turn their lives around. That’s why these vital new hubs will ensure those on the streets have access to professional help and guidance to start their recovery.”

The new hubs – backed by up to £4.8 million Government funding – will be up and running by spring 2019 and will be launched in the following areas (with a further four centres to follow next year):

  • Brighton & Hove
  • Bristol
  • Cheshire West & Chester
  • Derby
  • Gloucestershire (encompassing the seven councils in the county)
  • Lincoln
  • Liverpool
  • Medway
  • Nottingham City
  • Preston
  • West London (encompassing seven borough councils)

Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said: “St Mungo’s is very pleased to be involved in the Somewhere Safe to Stay pilots. These will offer much needed emergency shelter where people in crisis can have their needs assessed urgently away from the extreme dangers of sleeping on the streets.

“Crucially, these services will be targeted at those at immediate risk of sleeping rough. We will be encouraging a thorough evaluation of these pilots and want to see the learning used to roll out an approach to every area of the country that means no one who is homeless has to sleep rough before they receive the support they need.”