Government grant of £1.34m for Thanet’s rough sleeper support services

Rough sleeping on the isle Photo John Horton

Thanet District Council has been awarded £1.34million  by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)  for rough sleeping support services in 2020/21.

The funding follows the success of the Thanet RISE project – Rough sleeper, Intervention, Support and Empowerment. The project was set up in August 2018 to provide help for people sleeping rough in the district.

An ambitious bid was submitted to MHCLG to secure the funding needed to extend the work already being done and was granted following a rigorous examination. The money will ensure continued help for people who find themselves rough sleeping in Thanet.

RISE has transformed the way services are provided for people who are rough sleeping. All of their needs are supported in one place, with a number of different organisations working together out of one office. This means greater simplicity and services in one place for people in need.

Cllr Helen Whitehead, Thanet District Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, said: “This award is a very significant sum and will make a huge difference to the service we are offering.

“The number of known rough sleepers has fallen each year since the Thanet RISE project was launched. This additional funding means we can redouble our efforts and continue to provide a complete service for some of the most vulnerable adults in Thanet.

“There is no need for anyone to be rough sleeping with the level of support we have available. There is a team of people on hand when someone is ready to come off the streets and accept help with finding accommodation and any other issues they are experiencing.

Thanet Rise team

“The project’s success would not be possible without the input of our partner agencies and the support of our volunteers. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everybody who has worked so hard to provide this service and secure this funding.”

The funding, which is the largest amount granted to any area in the south-east of England will  be used to fund actions including:

  • Over 50 bed spaces across high, medium and low supported accommodation schemes, to help people transition from the street

  • Over 1,000 nights of temporary accommodation

  • Thanet RISE team wraparound support to tackle any barriers to obtaining and sustaining accommodation, having fast track access to mental health workers, benefits advisors and substance misuse workers within the team

  • Daily outreach services to support those still rough sleeping, including in the evening and at weekends

  • Dedicated Landlord Liaison Officers to source properties that are affordable and suited to people’s needs

  • In-reach support for people after they have been housed to help with bills, budgeting and ensure tenancies are sustained

  • Extensive personalised budgets for people, to be used flexibly when needed

  • Supporting the extension of the Thanet Winter Shelter and local charities and drop ins for rough sleepers

  • Additional health and dentistry support

  • Development of a peer mentor scheme for ex-service users who want to help coach others in a similar position

  • Incentives for private landlords who want to help former rough sleepers. Evening and weekend support for landlords and newly accommodated clients  to be available when people are most in need

  • Specific fund to reconnect people from out of the area back to their area of origin.

  • Support for former rough sleepers who are at risk of rough sleeping again, either through hospital discharge or prison release

The RISE team has been recognised by the MHCLG as leading the way in rough sleeper services as well as receiving sector recognition for the work it has achieved to date. The project has also been announced as a finalist for the UK Housing Awards 2020 in the category of Homelessness Project of the Year.

Since its start the Thanet RISE project has housed more than 100 people into substantive accommodation and worked with over 250 people provisioning signposting, support and advice.

The project currently has an 88% success rate with only 12 clients ”stepping back” into other supported provision.

Some 114 people have been helped into temporary or emergency accommodation throughout the duration of the project and 12 people have already been housed from the current Winter Shelter, more than in any previous year.

Annual Rough Sleeper Count

In 2019- 17 people were counted

In 2018  – 23 people were counted

In 2017 – 46 people were counted

Get help

Contact RISE on 01843 577277 – or 01843 577 000 in an emergency out of hours.

Drop ins:

Wednesday 9.30am-12pm Margate Gateway

Tuesday 2pm-4pm GAP Baptist Church, Broadstairs

Email: [email protected]