Council receives more than £250,000 to help tackle homelessness

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Cheshire East Council has appointed a rough sleeping co-ordinator as part of its policy to tackle homelessness in the borough.

Additionally beds have been made available in Macclesfield and Crewe to try and prevent people resorting to sleeping on the streets and in doorways.

Government funding, announced recently, will help to support the measures the council has put in place to reduce the number of rough sleepers and prevent people becoming homeless.

The borough has a relatively low number of rough sleepers, compared with many other authorities, but the council is aware of an increase in rough sleeping and says it is committed to tackling the issue before winter.

Cheshire East is one of 83 councils who will share in a £30m pot of government cash to help boost the support offered to people sleeping rough or who are at risk of becoming homeless. The council will receive more than £250,000 as its share of the fund.

New measures to be introduced include:

Outreach workers to seek out, assess and support rough sleepers, and signpost them to relevant support services;39 beds to be made available through partner organisations; andThe appointment of a rough sleeping co-ordinator to plan services, ensure a coherent first-stage approach and monitor the effectiveness of interventions and remove barriers.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: "Thankfully, we have a low number of people sleeping rough in the borough – but one person sleeping on the streets is still one too many.

"Homelessness is an issue that we are determined to deal with in the most positive and sensitive way and the council is eager to tackle the harmful effects of homelessness, such as the impact on family life and children, the potential harm to an individual's physical and mental health, their self-esteem, confidence and loss of employment.

"A number of factors can contribute to homelessness. However, we are pleased that the measures we have in place are leading to more cases of successful prevention, with a year-on-year rise in numbers of people avoiding homelessness."

The council launched its homelessness strategy earlier this year, following a period of public consultation and discussions with statutory bodies, the voluntary sector, charities and faith groups, as well as local businesses.

The strategy was introduced to coincide with the new Homelessness Reduction Act, which came into effect in April.

Cheshire East Council