More funding for rough sleeping reduction work

Portsmouth City Council has secured more Government cash to help it continue the work of reducing the number of rough sleepers on the city’s streets.

A bid for three more years of Government funding has also been submitted, with a decision expected in May.

£149,000 has been confirmed for current services, including caseworkers helping rough sleepers with financial, health and addiction issues, as well as working with others who might be at risk of eviction to prevent them from sleeping rough.

The council’s rough sleeping team has seen several areas of success, including 44 people who had been sleeping rough provided support to have them move into private rented accommodation during this financial year.

They had used the council’s new rough sleeping pathway, created in October last year, incorporating 105 rooms in three locations owned by the council and support services provided by The Society of St James. The pathway offers short and medium-term accommodation with the aim of progressing ex-rough sleepers into longer term accommodation and not returning to the streets.

Funds received from the bid will sustain the pathway and other work on rough sleeping and preventing homelessness for another three years.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Preventing Homelessness, Cllr Darren Sanders, said: “The rough sleeping pathway has made some great progress in helping Portsmouth reach the goal of ending rough sleeping by 2025, and so a strong bid for more funding over the next three years will go a long way to meeting that.

“With the support services provided by The Society of St James, and the collaboration of teams across the council and other partners, we are doing some really great work to help rough sleepers back into stable housing and prevent homelessness from happening in the first place.”

Shaping Portsmouth also has set up the Choose Employability programme, to give a stepping-stone for the homeless people within our community who are in the care and living in one of the three shelter facilities of the Society of St James.