Walsall Council receives £550.000 to continue tackling rough sleeping

Provision for rough sleepers in Walsall has received a government funding boost of more than half a million pounds.

The £555,837 award to Walsall Council from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the West Midlands second highest local authority allocation.

Councillor Adrian Andrew, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Strategic Housing, said he was delighted.

“Rough sleepers are amongst the most vulnerable people in society and this award will help them get the expert and continued help that they need.

”We know from wider evidence based research that with continued and targeted care from specialist health and housing partners, lives can be saved, and changed by sustainable steps that lead to more hopeful futures.“

“The reasons behind the issue are complex and will often include addictions and family breakdowns. The Council can only do so much on its own, it’s partnership that is the key.

“The contribution of the voluntary, Housing Association, and health sectors has been incredible.”

The money will be used to fund the ‘Rough Sleeper Initiative’ which provides temporary accommodation at the town centre’s night shelter and allow for continued support to be provided by the Outreach Navigator Service.

The Rough Sleeper Initiative also complements Walsall’s ‘Housing First’ service which helps former rough sleepers into tenancies. In the last two years, 50 people have been housed.

Research carried out in 2018 by homeless charity Shelter revealed that one in 466 people in Walsall are sleeping rough or living in temporary accommodation.

In the same year, a Council review of homelessness predicted levels of all forms homelessness are likely to increase because local house prices are rising faster than earnings.

The review emphasised the importance of securing assurances of funding arrangements from 2020.