Rough sleepers in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes are being offered help in getting their lives back on track thanks to a partnership between local councils.
As part of their commitment to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping, Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Councils are working in partnership to deliver an outreach service to rough sleepers.
The service, which launches on 26 June, works by providing a combination of outreach support and assessment hubs where people can go to access help.
The new outreach team will work with individuals to prevent or reduce the length of time spent on the streets, while in more complex cases mental health crisis workers will ensure more intensive support is provided.
It’s estimated that the service will work with around 700 people in the region over the next two years; targeting not only rough sleepers but also those at risk of becoming rough sleepers to prevent them moving on to the streets.
The service has been set up following a successful bid by Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Councils for grant funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government.
The £623,000 funding received will enable this service to be provided for two years.
Councillor Nigel Long, Portfolio Holder for Adult Care and Housing at Milton Keynes Council, said: “Tackling homelessness in Milton Keynes, in all its forms, is a fundamental priority for our council.
“Having a specialist team here and across the region will help us to help those most in need, and help those at risk of losing their home, before they reach the streets.
“This is a great example of councils working together to fund the right kind of help, exactly where and when it is needed the most.”