A rough sleeper shelters from the elements in the St George’s Clocktower in Canterbury (file pic)

More cash to help to city’s rough sleepers into homes

The government is handing the city council an additional £330,000 to help it get rough sleepers off Canterbury’s streets and into accommodation.

It comes from a £30 million central pot and will be used for the authority’s work with frontline homeless charities Catching Lives and Porchlight.

Together they will develop plans tailored to address each rough sleeper’s individual needs.

These plans include encouraging them into housing and helping them into education or employment, as well as providing support on other problems such as drug or alcohol addiction.

Last winter’s period of extreme cold and snow focused much attention on the plight of Canterbury’s homeless and the access they have to help and services.

Cllr Neil Baker

Cllr Neil Baker, the council’s communities chairman, said: “The government has recognised this money will help us, Catching Lives and Porchlight to make a real and measurable difference to the lives of rough sleepers.

“Receiving the money over two years helps us all to make sure the services we deliver are highly effective because we have the time and space to engage with rough sleepers in a meaningful way which builds trust.

“Canterbury City Council has been chosen to receive this funding because of the hard work and determination of officers, Catching Lives and Porchlight alongside the close relationship they have built with civil servants at the MHCLG.

The cash from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) comes after the council was awarded £220,000 cash injection for homeless work in June.

Money will be used to extend the winter shelter run by Catching Lives to provide beds between October and March and expand of the council’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) during periods of extreme cold.

While SWEP is in place, the council and its partners work intensively with rough sleepers to try and put in place measures to prevent them returning to the streets.

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