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Brokenshire launches rough sleeping hubs

Words: Laura Edgar
James Brokenshire

The housing secretary has announced that 11 ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay’ centres will be set up across England. The centres form part of the government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy.

It is hoped that the hubs will provide immediate shelter and rapid assessment for people who are either sleeping rough, or are at risk of doing so. They will also offer specialist support to help people with complex needs, such as mental health problems and substance misuse.

The government has created a £4.8 million fund to get the centres up and running in 11 cities, including Derby and Bristol. They will be operational by spring 2019. Another four will be opened in 2020.

Housing secretary James Brokenshire said: “No one should ever have to face a night on the streets, and as a government we are taking steps to ensure people are never faced with this as their only option.

“These are vulnerable people, who may be dealing with complex mental health problems or addictions and require specialist help to tackle these issues and turn their lives around.

“That’s why these vital new hubs will ensure those on the streets have access to professional help and guidance to start their recovery.”

St Mungo’s will be working with the government on the hubs. Chief executive Howard Sinclair said: “St Mungo’s is very pleased to be involved in the Somewhere Safe to Stay pilots. These will offer much-needed emergency shelter where people in crisis can have their needs assessed urgently away from the extreme dangers of sleeping on the streets.

“Crucially, these services will be targeted at those at immediate risk of sleeping rough. We will be encouraging a thorough evaluation of these pilots and want to see the learning used to roll out an approach to every area of the country that means no one who is homeless has to sleep rough before they receive the support they need.”

Earlier this month (December), the government launched its Rough Sleeping Delivery Plan, which supports the Rough Sleep Strategy. The plan includes targets and sets out how the strategy will be delivered.

Read more:

Further funding for councils to tackle homelessness

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