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The Council and dozens of other city agencies are increasing their efforts to help rough sleepers in the city.
Jim Crawshaw, the Head of Housing and Homelessness at Coventry City Council said that already a rough sleeping co-ordinator had been appointed and is due to start in a week, while outreach workers will link with other agencies specifically to improve partnership working in helping rough sleepers into accommodation.
A scheme to provide housing and support to more than 100 rough sleepers is also already underway, and a forum also is in place to link agencies together to share the best approaches to working with people sleeping on the street.
He said: “We have a homelessness forum in place in the city that is attended by over 40 partner agencies as well as a separate city wide group that considers the needs of individual rough sleepers.
“We have created a new rough sleeper co-ordinator post and the successful applicant is about to start in post on 15 July. We are also increasing the amount of street outreach staff working with rough sleepers.
“We are working together with dozens of other agencies to help and support all groups who unfortunately find themselves homeless and this is being done in strategic and co-ordinated way.
“We also recently announced that we have funding for Housing First. This project specifically targets entrenched rough sleepers with complex needs.
“This scheme will be aiming to help just over 100 people over the next few years. At the same time we have other schemes that we continue to work on alongside our partners.
“Cities throughout the country face very similar challenges and our councillors have made it clear that this issue is a key priority for the Council and the city.”
He added: “Many rough sleepers have complex needs, trying to manage health issues or addictions. To help get the best treatment for recovery finding accommodation must be the starting point.”
A national project in Coventry and across the West Midlands region, and two other city regions, is being introduced to target people who are homeless and rough sleeping by helping to provide both accommodation and wraparound support.
Housing First is now to be adopted in Coventry. Along with Liverpool and Greater Manchester The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has received government funding to pilot the Housing First approach which supports vulnerable, homeless people with multiple and complex needs.
The new service will be led by Midlands-based organisation Brighter Futures. The contract, worth £1.3m over three years was successfully commissioned by Coventry City Council and will be implemented to help to reduce Coventry’s growing homelessness numbers. It will operate 24 hours a day for 365 days of the year.
Brighter Futures will be working with partners at ARC CIC (a drug and alcohol outreach service) and Coventry City Council.
The new service will be put in place over the next 12 weeks; a team will be recruited and in place, and referrals will be taken as early as August.
ARC C.I.C a drug and alcohol outreach service set up in 2018 will provide support through experts with lived experience, people who have first-hand experience of complex needs such as sleeping rough, mental health, drug and/or alcohol issues. Coventry City Council will provide suitable properties and work closely with the Housing First team.
Louise Morley from ARC C.I.C, added: “There is already a number of agencies working hard to address the difficulties that rough sleepers face. The wraparound support is absolutely vital, and we are looking forward to working with Brighter Futures.
“It’s about people feeling valued, to have some sort of stability in their lives.”
Housing First is funded to work with and support up to 109 rough sleepers.
We will be working with a number of landlords, both private and Housing Associations, to provide the properties to house these people with support.
Brighter Futures is a leading provider in the Midlands of expert and professional help through its support services and accommodation for people living with multiple and complex needs.
It has developed a wide range of innovative services which support, improve and maintain mental health wellbeing, allowing people to live independent and fulfilled lives, managing their various complex needs better.
Brighter Futures offers effective solutions for complex needs. We have developed a wide range of services which support, improve and maintain mental wellbeing, allowing people to live independent and fulfilled lives. Our health and housing services ensure that people can get support from us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
To find out more about Brighter Futures support services please call 01782 406000 or go to www.brighter-futures.org.uk.
For further information or for interviews please contact Nicola Brophy, 01782 406000, M; 07747 560515