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18.12.18

Brokenshire launches 11 homeless hubs to fight rough sleeping in England

James Brokenshire has announced the creation of a new network of rough sleeping hubs, with £5m committed to the scheme to help provide thousands of vulnerable people with specialist support to recover from life on the streets.

Eleven rough sleeping hubs across England, called the ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay hubs,’ will be up and running by spring 2019 and form part of the government’s rough sleeping strategy.

They will provide immediate shelter and rapid assessment for those who are, or are at risk of, sleeping rough, and provide specialist support to address those with complex needs such as substance abuse or mental health issues.

The communities secretary commented: “No one should ever have to face a night on the streets, and as a government we are taking steps to ensure people are never faced with this as their only option.

“These are vulnerable people, who may be dealing with complex mental health problems or addictions and require specialist help to tackle these issues and turn their lives around.

“That’s why these vital new hubs will ensure those on the streets have access to professional help and guidance to start their recovery.”

The schemes will be launched in Bristol, Brighton & Hove, Cheshire West & Chester, Derby, Gloucestershire, Lincoln, Liverpool, Medway, Nottingham, Preston, and West London.

The announcement builds on the first year of the Rough Sleeping Initiative, launched in March, which sees the government provide £64m of funding to over 80 councils over the next two years. The government argues that this funding has already led to the creation of 1,750 new bed spaces, as well an extra 500 outreach workers.

Another four rough sleeping hubs are due to follow next year once the original 11 are operating.

Howard Sinclair, chief executive of the charity St Mungo’s, said he was “very pleased” to be involved in the hubs, commenting: “These will offer much needed emergency shelter where people in crisis can have their needs assessed urgently away from the extreme dangers of sleeping on the streets.

“Crucially, these services will be targeted at those at immediate risk of sleeping rough. We will be encouraging a thorough evaluation of these pilots and want to see the learning used to roll out an approach to every area of the country that means no one who is homeless has to sleep rough before they receive the support they need.”

Image credit - Victoria Jones/PA Archive/PA Images

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