£1.3 million boost to help the most at-risk rough sleepers

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Life-changing support will be offered to the most vulnerable and entrenched rough sleepers across Lincolnshire – thanks to a successful county-wide bid for Government funds.

The four-year initiative has been given the green light and will see service providers tasked with achieving specific outcomes.

These include enabling rough sleepers to:

• Become drug and alcohol free

• Sustain their own accommodation

• Address health and mental health needs

• Access education, training and employment

A group of councils and agencies from across the county teamed up to bid for Social Impact Bond funding (SIB) totalling around £1.3million. This is one of only eight projects nationally to receive this funding.

Michelle Howard, chair of the Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy Group, said: “We are delighted that our bid for funding has been successful and can now focus on helping some of the most at-risk rough sleepers in the county.

“There are a number of rough sleepers in the region who have become entrenched in that lifestyle and need urgent support to get their lives back on track.

“We are confident that the SIB funds will result in an effective outcome-focused approach to service delivery which will make a real and positive difference in our communities.”

Led by homelessness charity P3, a designated team of specialists, including a drug worker and mental health practitioner, will provide intensive support to help 120 of the region’s most vulnerable rough sleepers across the county, throughout the four year period.

They will aim to support rough sleepers off the street, into accommodation, help provide support services for drugs and mental health, with the aim of getting individuals into employment.

The scheme is based on similar initiatives in America, which have proved effective at rehabilitating vulnerable rough sleepers.

Updates on progress made by the scheme will be announced in due course.

• Some of the authorities/agencies involved in the initiative are: South Holland District Council, South Kesteven District Council, Boston Borough Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS FoundationTrust; Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups; Lincolnshire Integrated Offender Management Project; Healthwatch Lincolnshire; Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire; Lincolnshire Credit Union; Addaction.