Luton Borough Council receives £300k grant to help homeless

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Luton Borough Council has been awarded £310,940 by the government to help rough sleepers.

The scheme will support those who are not eligible to receive any money from the public purse but who still find themselves living on the streets.

A Luton Borough Council spokesman said: “In recent years the number of people sleeping rough in Luton has risen considerably.

“A significant number of these are from overseas. Having arrived in the UK for a variety of reasons – such as work opportunities, false promises, trafficking – many have subsequently struggled and slipped into a cycle of helplessness.”

Last December, statistics from homeless charity Shelter revealed that Luton had over twice the number of people living on the streets than any other town in the East of England. The study by the charity found that Luton had 3,458 homeless people in the borough.

The council aims to tackle the problem by providing temporary accommodation, improving access to employment, giving English lessons, familiarisation with UK customs and help in reconnecting with their country of origin.

Homeless charity NOAH Enterprise will act as a partner in the project.

Portfolio holder for housing Cllr Tom Shaw said: “Many of these people have found themselves in difficult circumstances through no fault of their own and with the help of this award we will now be in a position to provide compassionate support.”

Chief executive of Noah Enterprises Jim O’Connor said: “This provides a real opportunity to make a positive difference through employment or reconnection to the lives of those who have migrated to Luton and now find themselves homeless.”

The project began in April 2017 and ends March 2019.