Grant to reduce rough sleepers on North Devon streets
A BARNSTAPLE charity has won a �200,000 grant to ensure no one will have to sleep on the streets for more than one night.
Freedom Social Projects will receive the government money in October under the ‘No Second Night Out’ initiative run by the Homelessness Transition Fund.
North Devon has seen a 30 per cent rise in the number of people estimated to be sleeping rough between 2010 and 2011. The partnership headed by Freedom Social Projects aims to ensure no one in the area has to spend a second night on the streets.
The charity will provide assessment for all rough sleepers new to the street, immediate access to accommodation and support tailored to their individual needs.
It also intends to implement measure to help prevent homelessness and solutions for longer-term, ‘entrenched’ rough sleepers.
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The partnership project includes Encompass Southwest, Westcountry Housing Association and North Devon Council.
“The award of this grant is as timely as it is welcome,” said Phil Noall, project manager of Freedom Social Projects.
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“The context of the award is increasing levels of homelessness nationally and in North Devon - locally we have experienced a 33 per cent rise over the last 2 years.
“This grant is both an acknowledgement and an endorsement of the valuable work undertaken by the partners in North Devon. Working closely with North Devon Council, the partnership will now develop additional services to help address the often highly complex issues associated with rough sleeping.”
Councillor Faye Webber, executive member for housing, said she was thrilled the bid had been successful following the hard work of the council’s officers.
With the funding starting in October, when the colder weather comes in, this project will be more than welcome, ensuring that fewer people are sleeping rough.
“It will focus on quickly identifying any new rough sleepers in our district and responding to them as appropriate, so that they don’t need to spend a second night on the streets,” she said.