The Maidstone Borough Council Outreach service has been awarded £375,750 to help fund the continuation of its work to help rough sleepers across the borough.
After receiving initial funding as part of the Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) in September 2018 the MBC team has been leading the way on a number of projects preventing rough sleeping and homelessness. These interventions include an assertive outreach team, specialist health clinicians and a variety of accommodation options for those rough sleeping and insecurely housed.
The funds are part of the government announcement made today that an extra £112 million of funding is to be shared between local authorities to help tackle rough sleeping This funding programme is a scheme set up by the government in 2018 aimed at helping people off the streets and into accommodation.
Since 2018 the MBC Outreach Team has worked with 178 people to support them away from the streets into positive outcomes through a variety of ways including social housing stock, private rent solutions, supported housing, housing first and temporary accommodation and resettled 128 individuals.
John Littlemore, Maidstone Borough Council Head of Housing and Community Services said:
“We are delighted to be awarded this funding through the Rough Sleeping Initiative which will help build on the successful work the MBC Outreach Team has already achieved.
“Thanks to the RSI funding the team has been able to provide help to a large number of people across Maidstone with some excellent outcomes for those who were, or at risk of rough sleeping. They have been able to resettle all the entrenched rough sleepers from the town, who have a multitude of complex needs, into appropriate supported accommodation within Maidstone and the continued funding will enable them to build-on this work with a particular emphasis on addressing mental health needs.”
The most recent MBC street-count which took place in January 2020 showed that there were zero people rough sleeping in the town centre when the team also visited the local Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter which only had six occupants at the time - some of whom were not local people to the borough.
The additional RSI funding will enable Maidstone Borough Council to continue its efforts to assist rough sleepers and maintain its tenacious work towards preventing homelessness and rough sleeping across Maidstone.