13th Aug, 2020

Plans to offer permanent homes to rough sleepers in Warwick district

Laura Kearns 16th Jun, 2020

EFFORTS are being made to offer permanent homes to rough sleepers in Warwick district.

At the start of lockdown in March and the closure of local night shelters, Warwick District Council launched an emergency programme to locate and offer accommodation to those sleeping on the streets.

Working with local agencies and charities, a total of 38 people were given a safe place to stay and have been given food deliveries.

They have also received support from outreach officers specialising in mental and physical health and help with alcohol and drug addiction.

While additional coronavirus funding from central government has ended the council is working on schemes to keep those without homes from returning to sleeping rough.

So far three former rough sleepers have been given introductory tenancies and more allocations are due to be made in the coming weeks.

District council housing spokeswoman coun Jan Matecki said: “Long before the pandemic, this council made a commitment to eradicate rough sleeping in the district and we will continue to work tirelessly in conjunction with our partners to make rough sleeping in Warwick district a thing of the past.”

But as lockdown restrictions are lifted, the council says some of those who are ‘very vulnerable’ are returning to shopping areas to ask for money, despite having the support of local agencies.

Coun Matecki added: “As lockdown restrictions are lifted, I would like to renew my appeal to the public not to offer cash to anyone asking for money on the street. Rather than giving directly please either direct these people to local support groups or donate to ‘Meaningful Change-Royal Leamington Spa’, a local multi-agency campaign made up of a number of charities who are all working together to provide meaningful and long-term support, to help these people to turn their lives around.”

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