A new county-wide contract to support people at risk of homelessness has been awarded to Caring for Communities and People (CCP - www.ccp.org.uk).

The new single person’s and childless couple’s homeless prevention service will see the number of Emergency Shelters for rough sleepers across Worcestershire rise from two to five.

The shelters will be based in Worcester, Evesham, Kidderminster, Malvern and Redditch, providing more localised assistance across the county. CCP will open the Shelters on any night when the temperature is predicted to fall to zero or below, in line with Worcestershire’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).

The new service has been jointly funded and commissioned by all the councils across Worcestershire and the contract will be overseen by a countywide group of officers.  It is due to start on the 1 October 2019 and run for two years.

Funding for the county’s single person’s and childless couple’s homeless prevention service will rise to £301,500 per annum – an increase over the previous level of £240,000 per annum.

Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Health, Wellbeing Councillor Nicky Martin said:“The main focus of this new service is on early intervention and preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place. The new emergency shelter in Kidderminster will be a very welcome addition to the other services we provide in Wyre Forest to people who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless.”

“At the moment when the temperatures drop below freezing people have to travel outside of the district. This will mean there will be a safe and warm place to stay within Wyre Forest during the most severe weather.”

In April 2019 interviews with several current and former customers of St Paul’s Hostel and Maggs Day Centre in Worcester and CCP to hear what services they felt would have helped them prior to becoming homeless for the first time and also what action they think is needed to break the cycle of homelessness. Their views played an important role in drawing up the specification for this new contract.