The Thanet Rise project, which supports isle people rough sleeping or on the brink of homelessness, will be able to continue its award-winning work into 2021-22, thanks to a £1.7million funding boost from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
The funding, which was applied for by the team at Thanet District Council, is the highest amount given to any district local authority in the country. It is also the largest amount of funding for rough sleeping services awarded to a Kent council in the latest allocations. A total of £200 million is being awarded nationally.
For Thanet, the funding will mean the multi-agency RISE team can continue working more intensively and flexibly with rough sleepers; continue to provide a 24/7 ‘’Somewhere Safe to Stay’’ Homeless Centre – including up to 20 self contained bed spaces for this coming year’s Winter Shelter scheme – and provide an extra 22 bed spaces with tailored personal support which would not exist without the extra funding.
Since the RISE project began in October 2018, the council led team has joined forces with other key agencies such as Forward Trust, NHS, Paramount Independent Property Services, Serveco and the Salvation Army to ensure services are joined up and working together.
This results in one holistic pathway out of homelessness for rough sleepers and enables the team to support people into long term accommodation.
To date RISE has supported more than 500 people who were rough sleeping or at immediate risk of rough sleeping. It has housed 240 people into long term substantive accommodation – 85% of these people remain in accommodation and anyone who has ‘stepped back’ is still offered support through other RISE services.
The team’s work has prevented an additional 137 people from rough sleeping or supported them to stay with friends and family and 15 people have been reconnected nationally or internationally to areas of origin where they have access to accommodation, support and a local connection.
The latest funding will also mean the project can provide street level outreach support 365 days a year, including evenings and weekends, to support those still rough sleeping and who need help into accommodation.
The team can help with long term support for anyone experiencing underlying complex challenges that may have contributed to homelessness – such as substance misuse and mental health and wellbeing. Additional specialist staff, including substance misuse workers, a homeless nurse and a mental health advisor will be employed.
Tenancy sustainment support once people have been housed is offered, helping people with budgeting, setting up bills and running a home to try and prevent future homelessness. There will also be additional funding to support rough sleepers with personalised budgets, move in costs, furniture and deposits.
New services, such as dentistry and optometry will also be made accessible for RISE clients.
Cllr Jill Bayford, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Our Rise team has helped hundreds of the district’s most vulnerable residents to find the support and accommodation they need. We are delighted to have received this funding to ensure that these vital services are delivered for a further year and continue our work which aims to completely end rough sleeping on our streets.
“In partnership with the Government, we hope to secure further funding beyond 2022 so that we can help people facing homelessness before they sleep rough.”
Call 01843 577277 – or 01843 577000 in an emergency out of hours.