Additional support for people at risk of homelessness this winter

Additional support for people at risk of homelessness this winter

People with a history of rough sleeping will receive extra support over the next few months with more short-term accommodation and access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

21 January 2022

Bristol City Council has been awarded targeted funding to support people currently on the streets and move them into accommodation during the cold winter months.

The Protect and Vaccinate funding will be used to provide accommodation for around 50 people who are currently sleeping rough, offering them wraparound support and access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

At the same time, the Winter Pressures Grant will help people, including non-UK nationals, who are not classed as priority need but are engaging with support services.

They will be given a place to stay and a plan to help them leave the streets, including access to legal advice and help finding employment.

Councillor Tom Renhard, Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Homes, said:

“Most of the winter funding is for people that are rough sleeping or have a history of rough sleeping.

“We are working with St Mungo’s to make sure we target the right individuals who are most in need of our support. Making sure that people sleeping rough have access to COVID-19 vaccinations is vitally important to helping keep them safe while rates of infection are so high. Everyone should have access to basic healthcare, whatever their circumstances.

“While this funding is welcome, and we will use it to support as many people as we can, it doesn’t address the need for more affordable social housing and more affordable private rented housing. Also, the short-term nature of the funding means we are not able to offer everyone long-term solutions. However, we hope that we can start people on the path to turning their lives around.”

The council has also received money through the Homelessness Prevention Grant, which aims to prevent the eviction of households who are renting privately and have got into financial difficulties during the pandemic.

The team will work with tenants and landlords where there are outstanding rent arrears, and help tenants to find new accommodation if necessary.

In addition, a grant to support ex-offenders will help 30 people who have left prison to find private rented accommodation and offer them support while they get back on their feet.

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