East Suffolk Council has secured nearly £900,000 in national funding to help tackle homelessness in the district.

Following a successful bid to the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative, East Suffolk Council has been awarded an additional £878,088 to support its work with rough sleepers over the next year.

The national initiative has allocated a total of £203million to help get people off the streets and into safe accommodation, with additional resources also being provided this year to help build on the progress made by local authorities across the UK over the past 12 months.

The funding awarded to East Suffolk will ensure the Council can continue to provide vital services, including the Somewhere Stay Safe Hub, Rough Sleeping Initiative bed spaces, Tenancy Training Programme and Discover East Initiative as well as retain the employment of a Rough Sleeper Coordinator, Outreach Officers, MEAM Navigators and many other vital roles within the team that offer essential support to this cohort. 

Furthermore, the funding will also enable the Council to deliver new initiatives, so it not only provides housing solutions, but also additional support to help keep rough sleepers off the streets. This includes helping vulnerable people settle into their new homes by offering additional support to integrate them into new communities and enabling social and economic independence by providing access to work and links to education.

Cllr Richard Kerry, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for Housing, said: “East Suffolk Council is committed to endling homelessness and rough sleeping. We welcome this funding from the Government as we continue to build on all the good work that has taken place during the past year to help vulnerable people on the path to a secure life with a place that they can call home.

“We will continue working closely with key partners in our efforts to support rough sleepers and ensure as few as possible return to the streets by offering long-term sustainable solutions and support tailored to the individual.”

As a response to Covid-19, East Suffolk Council has been working closely with local partners, including Access Community Trust, Sanctuary Housing, Anglia Care Trust and Homegroup to ensure all homeless people in East Suffolk are offered accommodation to prevent them from rough sleeping during a public health emergency. As a result, there is only one homeless person in East Suffolk who is currently waiting for specialist-supported accommodation.