Rough sleepers in North Devon are being given a further helping hand, thanks to government funding.

North Devon Council is hoping to get people out of rough sleeping and into accommodation. Picture: NDCNorth Devon Council is hoping to get people out of rough sleeping and into accommodation. Picture: NDC

North Devon Council has been granted £357,500 by the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government (MHCLG) as a result of a recent funding bid by their housing team.

The money will be used to fund rough sleeper services in conjunction with local partners for the years 2020 to 2021.

The council will be working with Devon Partnership Trust, Together Drug and Alcohol Service, Freedom Community Alliance and Encompass Southwest to provide various services.

These will include a full-time mental health community psychiatric nurse plus a full time drug and alcohol specialist, as well as two full time outreach navigators, whose jobs it will be to go out and connect with rough sleepers.

The money will also go towards additional units of supported accommodation with staff attached, continuation of Housing First accommodation plus two additional units and spot purchase temporary accommodation and winter shelter provision.

Natasha Rowland, the council's service lead for housing, vulnerable persons and community safety, said: "We are very grateful to have been granted this funding from the MHCLG, which will enable us to continue the positive work we are doing with rough sleepers over the next 12 months.

"Our aim is to get people off the streets and into settled accommodation, and to give them the support and skills they need to reintegrate into the community.

"We are currently running the Safe Sleep service for the rough sleepers of northern Devon at the Salvation Army centre in Barnstaple and would like to remind anyone who is without shelter that there is a safe place for them to sleep at night."

This year, the Safe Sleep project opened its doors at the Salvation Army centre in Barnstaple on January 2, with the aim of providing a warm and safe place for up to 20 rough sleepers.

The service will continue to provide refreshments and a warm bed up until March 31 this year, ensuring that homeless people from the North Devon and Torridge districts can choose to sleep in a secure, warm and dry place during the cold winter months.

If you believe you are at risk of becoming homeless, get in touch with North Devon Council as soon as you can by calling 01271 388870 or email customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk.