New funding boost to help homeless people
The borough will receive a boost of nearly half a million pounds to help get people off the streets and into accommodation.
Communities secretary James Brokenshire has announced that councils across the country will share more than £46m to tackle rough sleeping, with £467,278 allocated to Wigan.
Other news: Independent candidates launch bids for local election successIt forms part of the Government’s £100m Rough Sleeping Strategy and will be used to fund rough sleeping co-ordinators and extend outreach services and temporary accommodation.
Across the country, it is estimated the money will provide funding for up to 110 rough sleeping co-ordinators, 300 outreach workers, 350 other support and specialist roles, 1,400 emergency bed spaces, including winter night shelter provision, 700 long-term beds, including in the private rented sector and supported housing, 500 temporary spaces, through hostels for example and £2.5m for spot-purchasing beds and increasing access to accommodation.
Some projects will provide specialist support, such as family reconnections, immigration advice or access to mental and physical health services.
Others will focus on providing services for specific groups of people, such as vulnerable women, those leaving care or people leaving prison.
Mr Brokenshire said: “The £100m-backed Rough Sleeping Strategy sets out this Government’s blueprint for ending rough sleeping for good.
“We are taking the necessary steps to make that happen, already providing 2,600 additional beds and 750 more support staff for the most vulnerable people in our society.
“But we must keep up the momentum and that’s why we are giving this funding to areas and projects that need it, ensuring progress continues to be made and people are given the help they need to turn their lives around.”
The Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative is providing more than £45m to councils over the next two years to help rough sleepers get off the streets and into secure accommodation, where they can get the help they need to rebuild their lives.
Last month, Wigan Council became one of the first local authorities in England to sign up to new homeless strategy Rapid Rehousing Pathway.
It has also recently tendered a contract to bolster services for the homeless.
Jo Willmott, the council’s assistant director for provider management and market development, said: “In Wigan borough, the number of rough sleepers has halved in the last 12 months so we are delighted that we’ve been chosen to receive extra funding so we can continue with our hard work.
“The money will help us to deliver vital services for rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping so they can be supported to leave the streets for good.
“It will allow us to continue and enhance the work that we put in place last year which has already been really successful. We can now provide borough-wide outreach that gives a response at all times, including out of hours.
“The funding will also open up opportunities for those sleeping rough to access letting arrangements and supported accommodation.
“This is in line with our local approach, where we are able to offer overnight accommodation to rough sleepers in Wigan and Leigh thanks to our two homeless hubs, in addition to extra beds we provide through the Greater Manchester #BedEveryNight campaign.
“We are committed to supporting people from the moment they walk through the door, understanding their circumstances and helping them to rebuild their lives so this funding is a welcome addition to an already successful strategy.”