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Rough sleepers to get extra support from council

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Swansea’s efforts to ensure every rough sleeper has a place to sleep if they want one has been boosted with another £370,000 of support.

Thanks to the work of the council alongside local charities, health services, housing associations, the number of people sleeping rough in Swansea has been at its lowest level on record during the pandemic.

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And although there are considerable challenges ahead, the Council has pledged to continue the effort put in to support rough sleepers through the pandemic and help them stay safe and healthy.

Cllr Andrea Lewis, Joint Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Service Transformation, said that extra funding from Welsh Government during the pandemic had helped the council speed-up its work to safeguard rough sleepers.

She said: “Our pledge is that there is a bed for anyone who needs one. Thanks to support from the Welsh Government and strong partnership working between local charities, health, housing associations and private sector providers, anyone found sleeping rough has been and will continue to be offered accommodation and the necessary support to maintain their accommodation

“Since the start of the pandemic we have helped more than 400 single homeless people out of temporary accommodation and either into supported housing or a permanent home of their own.

“The extra funding of £370,000 from the council’s budget means we can keep people safe from sleeping on the streets and provide help to access more permanent housing solutions.”

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As part of the council’s homelessness strategy, services have been expanded at the Ty Tom Jones temporary supported housing service (pictured top), which is currently delivered by The Wallich charity and supported by Pobl Housing and the Council.

Cllr Lewis said: “The award-winning Ty Tom Jones has been a real success story over the last year in supporting rough sleepers and single homeless people through the pandemic.

“Our aim is to make it part of a rapid rehousing programme that will help encourage hard-to-reach rough sleepers and single homeless people get the support they need by increasing the health, social, psychological and other wellbeing services on offer there.

“Before the pandemic hit the Council was already working hard to end rough sleeping. The further funding has enabled us to build on the success of what’s been achieved with our partners, resulting in a reduction in rough sleeping in Swansea, to the lowest on record in the last 12 months.

“In that time we’ve learned a lot more about how we can continue to develop our services to directly meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

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“With the extra funding we’ll be looking to do all we can to continue to prevent people from sleeping rough.”

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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