Nearly £60,000 has been secured from a Government fund to help tackle rough sleeping in Stafford Borough.
Stafford Borough Council is already seen as one of the country’s leading authorities in preventing homelessness and reducing the numbers of people sleeping on the streets.
Their work has been highlighted in the House of Lords, attracted parliamentary visits to the county town, and the authority was the first in the Midlands to have achieved the Government’s gold standard for preventing homelessness.
Now they have been awarded £58,582 from the national Rough Sleeping Initiative fund to help some of the most vulnerable residents overcome issues that prevent them securing accommodation.
A new role will be created to work alongside the existing Community Matron, Suzanne Rigby, who is employed by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, – dubbed the ‘Angel of Stafford’ by the people she has helped off the streets. The dual diagnosis worker role will concentrate on addressing mental health and substance misuse with rough sleepers and sofa surfers.
Head of Development at the Borough Council, Karen Tierney, said: “I am very pleased we have been successful in our bid for this money which will build on the work we are already doing to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness.
“The majority of people we see who are sleeping rough or sofa surfing have multiple issues which can be a barrier to them obtaining, and keeping, a roof over their head. That is why this new role will be key to addressing those issues with the ultimate aim of enabling them to sustain accommodation.”
The council is currently asking residents, businesses and voluntary sector groups from across the borough for their views on a new plan to tackle homelessness. It will take account of recent changes in the law and government guidance. People have until Thursday 20 June to give their thoughts on the Homeless and Rough Sleeper Strategy (2020 – 2024).
To find out more, or to take part in the consultation, go to www.staffordbc.gov.uk/homeless-and-rough-sleeper-strategy-consultation. You can also get more details about the strategy from the Council’s housing Options team firstname.lastname@example.org.
Press Release No 5526