1 February, 2020

Over £1.3million received from central government to fund rough sleeper support services

The council has been successful in a bid for increased funding in 2020-21 for rough sleeping support services. A total of £1.34million has been awarded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

This funding comes following the success of the Thanet RISE project which stands for Rough sleeper, Intervention, Support and Empowerment. The project was specifically set up in August 2018 to provide help for people sleeping rough in the district.

An ambitious bid was submitted to MHCLG in order to secure the funding needed to extend the work already being done. Awarded following a rigorous examination of the bid by the Ministry, this funding will ensure that the help for people who find themselves rough sleeping in Thanet can continue.

RISE has transformed the way services are provided for people who are rough sleeping. All of their needs are supported in one place, with a number of different organisations all working together out of one office. This results in a joined up approach and greater simplicity for people in need.

Cllr Helen Whitehead, Thanet District Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods said: “This award is a very significant sum and will make a huge difference to the service we are offering. The number of known rough sleepers has fallen each year since the Thanet RISE project was launched. This additional funding means we can redouble our efforts and continue to provide a complete service for some of the most vulnerable adults in Thanet. 

“There is no need for anyone to be rough sleeping with the level of support we have available. There is a team of people on hand when someone is ready to come off the streets and accept help with finding accommodation and any other issues they are experiencing. 

“The project’s success would not be possible without the input of our partner agencies and the support of our volunteers. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everybody who has worked so hard to provide this service and secure this funding. ”

The funding, which is the largest amount granted to any area in the south-east of England will be used to fund a wide range of actions including:

  • Over 50 bed spaces across high, medium and low supported accommodation schemes, to help people transition from the street 
  • Over 1,000 nights of temporary accommodation
  • Thanet RISE team wraparound support to tackle any barriers to obtaining and sustaining accommodation, fast track access to mental health workers, benefits advisors and substance misuse workers within the team
  • Daily outreach services to support those still rough sleeping, including in the evening and at weekends 
  • Dedicated Landlord Liaison Officers to source properties that are affordable and suited to people’s needs
  • In-reach support for people after they have been housed to help with bills, budgeting and ensure tenancies are sustained
  • Personalised budgets for people, to be used flexibly when needed 
  • Supporting the extension of the Thanet Winter Shelter, local charities and drop-ins for rough sleepers
  • Additional health and dentistry support
  • Development of a peer mentor scheme for those who want to help coach others in a similar position
  • Incentives for private landlords who want to help former rough sleepers. Evening and weekend support to be made available for landlords and newly accommodated clients
  • Specific fund to reconnect people to areas where they have connections
  • Support for former rough sleepers who are at risk of returning to rough sleeping either through hospital discharge or prison release 

The RISE team has been recognised by the MHCLG as leading the way in the integration of rough sleeper services as well as receiving sector recognition for the work it has achieved to date.

On Thursday 30 January, the RISE project was announced as a finalist for the UK Housing Awards 2020 in the category of Homelessness Project of the Year.

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