Too many people still sleep rough on the streets of North West Norfolk and across the country. The human cost of this, in broken lives too often cut short, is unacceptable.
This is why this Government has made addressing rough sleeping a priority. Our manifesto committed to end rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament, and the government has taken unprecedented steps to protect thousands of vulnerable rough sleepers and those at risk of becoming homeless through the Covid-19 pandemic.
James has been working with the Purfleet Trust since he was elected to help tackle rough sleeping. The Purfleet Trust provides help for single homeless people in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk and its services now include housing advice to help people find accommodation, support to help them maintain their tenancies, and a Health and Wellbeing Centre that in normal times provides a daily hot meal and the opportunity to gain some essential life skills.
In October 2020, it was announced by the government that North West Norfolk would recieve a grant worth over £700,000 to put towards long term housing for the homeless, or those at risk of becoming homeless.
These funds will cover two main projects:
- Up to Six self-contained flats, to be provided by Broadland Housing, to be used as Housing First, a model for those with complex housing, health and social care needs. This model successfully supports people in the most severely entrenched cycles of homelessness.
- The lease of 10 self-contained move-on flats, by partner Broadland Housing, to be used for rough sleepers with lower needs but who need to move on from hostels. This in turn would free up valuable hostel accommodation for other rough sleepers.
During Covid-19 the Purfleet Trust has worked with the Borough Council, MHCLG, and other partners to help people sleeping rough to move into safe, secure accommodation. In June 2020, James was delighted that the Purfleet Trust received a MHCLG - COVID-19 Homelessness Response Fund grant worth £59,600 to support the vital role all the staff and volunteers are playing in helping to end rough-sleeping in North West Norfolk. This welcome funding provides an opportunity to give people the specialist support they need through Covid-19 and beyond to turn their lives around.
Now that so many people have been helped the focus must be on helping them move to longer term accommodation. Importantly, this should include the wraparound support services and the government has also committed new funding to provide secure long-term accommodation to accelerate efforts so no one has to sleep on the streets.
The Purfleet Trust relies on charitable donations, including charitable trusts, Crisis, Local Authority, Big Lottery as well as generous donations from the local community. Read more here: https://www.purfleettrust.org.uk/