Councils to employ three new staff to tackle homelessness in Havant and East Hampshire

COUNCILS will employ three new workers in a targeted effort to crack down on homelessness across Havant and East Hampshire.

Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 2:06 pm

It comes after the authorities for both areas were awarded £92,774 after successfully applying to join the government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative.

Two new full-time employees will work in outreach across the areas to help housing teams, homeless people and those at risk of rough sleeping.

They will help signpost people in need to services, including night shelters, which can help them on a journey to independent living.

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The staff will be hired using money acquired from government. Picture: Shutterstock
The staff will be hired using money acquired from government. Picture: Shutterstock

Meanwhile a third, part-time employee will work specifically with private landlords and letting agents to secure homeless people accommodation.

Deputy leader for Havant Borough Council and cabinet lead for planning, regeneration and communities, councillor Tim Pike, said: ‘This money will enhance the work we already do to tackle street homelessness in our borough by allowing us to offer much more targeted and intensive support to some of the most disadvantaged people living in our community.

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‘Making a difference to the support we can offer people in this way is one of the biggest responsibilities we have and working with our partners, Two Saints, we will use this funding to improve the lives of those who need our help the most.’

Latest figures identified zero rough sleepers in Havant, but the authority has vowed to intervene at people’s earliest time of need.

Cllr Julie Butler, East Hampshire District Council's deputy leader and portfolio holder for welfare and community integration, said: ‘In East Hampshire, figures for rough sleeping are low compared to other areas, but we are still fully committed to halving the number of rough sleepers by 2021 and ending rough sleeping by 2027.

‘The support service will also work with those who are at risk of rough sleeping to ensure that they do not end up on street.’

As well as the new employees, the councils also have money to set up a so-called personalisation fund.

This would be used to buy phones for people facing homelessness, apply for ID documents or pay for deposits and rent in advance.

Anyone concerned about someone who is homeless or sleeping rough can get information at havant.gov.uk/rough-sleepers-advice.

And for immediate help, they can call 0300 500 0914.