Funding boost to tackle rough sleeping in Luton

Luton Council will be able to continue working to help people who are sleeping on the streets to access vital services, thanks to a £1.1 million funding bid.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 5:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 5:16 pm

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced the Rough Sleeping Initiative grant funding for 2020/21 on Tuesday, January 28.

The money will also allow for additional work with people who have a history of rough sleeping and need help to move on with their lives.

The grant will be used to enhance and sustain existing services including:

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> outreach support for all people who are rough sleeping

> immediate access to free accommodation through the Homeless Assessment and Rapid Rehousing Pathway (HARRP)

> drug and alcohol outreach support, including harm reduction and assessment for treatment

> mental health outreach, including a nurse assessment and connection into services

> high levels of support for those moving into their own accommodation – both council and privately rented

> landlord support for property owners wishing to offer private rent properties to the scheme

> training and employment support

This funding will also allow the council to focus on quickly moving people who are new to the streets into accommodation, finding innovative solutions for those who continually refuse offers of accommodation and tackling the barriers faced by those who return to rough sleeping. 152 people have been supported to move from the street into the HARRP project between August 2019, when it opened, and December.

Together with the Luton Homeless Partnership and Big Change Luton, the council is focused on finding solutions for people sleeping rough, as well as people at risk of sleeping rough.

Cllr Tom Shaw, portfolio holder for housing at Luton Council, said: “We are absolutely committed to ending rough sleeping in Luton and tackling its many causes together with our partners.

“We are pleased that the successes and hard work of our staff and partners, old and new, have been recognised by MHCLG.

“This funding will allow for our vital and complex work to continue. It will also allow for the development of innovative new approaches, helping to meet the council’s ambition to end poverty in Luton by 2040.”

To help with supporting people away from a life on the streets in Luton you can donate to Big Change Luton via the two contactless donation points (at Starbucks, Travel Centre and the customer service desk at The Mall) or via the Just Giving page.

Alternatively, you can visit the council's Street Support website for more information about how to donate time as a volunteer or items to those in need.