New homeless project secures £855,000 Government grant

A PIONEERING project to tackle homelessness in Rugby and across Warwickshire has been awarded an £855,000 grant from the Government.

Rugby Borough Council led a partnership bid from the Warwickshire Together Homelessness Early Intervention Project to secure the grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government's Homelessness Prevention Trailblazers fund.

The £50 million fund aims to support local authorities across the country in delivering innovative new projects to prevent homelessness.

The Warwickshire Together Homelessness Early Intervention Project comprises Rugby Borough Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Warwick District Council.

Working with other statutory and voluntary organisations in the county, the project aims to utilise data matching to ensure early identification of residents at risk of homelessness.

Risk factors linked to homelessness include relationship breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness and domestic abuse.

By identifying 'at risk' residents at an early stage, the project aims to offer tailored support services to address the issues which could result in the resident becoming homeless.

In addition to a team of specialist support workers, the project plans to create a team of 'community mentors' at voluntary and community organisations to help sign-post residents to support services, and introduce 'on the spot' advice sessions to avoid referring residents to appointments at other organisations.

Cllr Leigh Hunt, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for communities and homes, said: "By focusing on the early identification of residents at risk of homelessness and tailoring our support to address the issues involved in each case, the Warwickshire Together Homelessness Early Intervention Project can play a major role in reducing the number of residents who become homeless and reducing the cost of homelessness on the taxpayer.

"The project has pooled the expertise of borough and district councils in the county, and a range of partner organisations, to draw up plans for this radical new approach to tackling homelessness, and I'm delighted the partnership has secured funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government for the next three years."

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