Rough sleepers in Wyre Forest will get help to come off the streets following a successful bid by Worcestershire councils to secure Government funding of more than £670,000.

The grant from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government guarantees the continuation and development of services that support rough sleepers across Worcestershire and help them to get back into accommodation.

New initiatives will also be launched with the money, including Rough Sleeper Co-ordinators for Worcestershire and the continuation of the Rough Sleeper Homeless Support Officer post for Wyre Forest.

Cabinet Member for Housing, Health and Wellbeing Councillor Nicky Martin said: “Rough sleepers are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. This latest round of funding will help us and our partners to provide a range of services that will help people to get off the streets and receive the specialist support they need to secure a long-term home.”

The funding bid was prepared by Worcester City Council and its neighbouring district authorities in Bromsgrove, Malvern, Redditch, Wychavon and Wyre Forest.

The £672,308 awarded will enable the councils to continue their work with on-the-ground partners including Caring for Communities and People (CCP), Maggs Day Centre and St Paul’s Hostel and local housing providers.

This work includes a range of initiatives to support rough sleepers to come off the streets and get back into housing. These include:

  • A Rough Sleeper Co-ordinator who oversees and coordinates a multi-agency response to the individual needs of rough sleepers across Worcestershire. This post will now be joined by an additional co-ordinator for Worcester, which has the highest proportion of rough sleepers in the county.
  • Navigators who ensure rough sleepers with complex needs can access services and also coordinate services for individual rough sleepers. The new funding will double the number of navigators from two to four.
  • The Somewhere Safe To Stay centre based at Worcester’s Salvation Army Centre. This provides intensive 24/7 support to rough sleepers who have shown a clear commitment to coming off the streets.
  • Support Officers who work across the county to enable people coming off the streets to get the support they need to settle into longer term accommodation.

The most recently published figures showed there were 9 people sleeping rough in Wyre Forest and 53 people in Worcestershire in 2018. The 2019 figure is due to be released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government next month.