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Council begins £292k shelter provisions for homeless during winter

PUBLISHED: 14:47 21 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:47 21 December 2019

In conjunction with other partner organisations, East Suffolk Council is providing support to single homeless people and people sleeping rough in East Suffolk during the winter period. Picture: Getty images

In conjunction with other partner organisations, East Suffolk Council is providing support to single homeless people and people sleeping rough in East Suffolk during the winter period. Picture: Getty images

© Getty Images

A council has began its Cold Weather Provision (CWP) process for the winter period, giving up to nine bed spaces to those who are homeless.

In conjunction with other partner organisations, East Suffolk Council is providing support to single homeless people and people sleeping rough in East Suffolk during the winter period.

"As detailed in our homelessness and rough sleeping strategy, we are committed to reducing rough sleeping and addressing the issues which cause and can lead to homelessness," councillor Richard Kerry, East Suffolk Council's cabinet minister for housing said.

CWP provides up to nine bed spaces until the end of March 2020. The accommodation is either a self-contained room or sharing facilities.

The council state that an assessment will be undertaken in each case to confirm the placements.

Mr Kerry said: "However, we know it is likely that there will be rough sleepers during the winter months and with very cold weather predicted we must be proactive in ensuring help for those affected."

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Following a successful application to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, East Suffolk Council was awarded a total of £292,553 to help rough sleepers or those at risk of rough sleeping in the district.

The spaces, which are located at Access Community Trust (Bridge View), will provide somewhere to stay for a minimum of 72 hours to enable a rapid assessment of need and to offer support to those using this provision.

The council state that members of the East Suffolk housing needs team and colleagues from Access Community Trust and Anglia Care Trust will monitor the situation.

A spokesperson for East Suffolk Council added: "Anyone concerned about the welfare of people should contact the council, either by calling 03330 162000 or emailing housing.needs@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

"On Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, an out of hours contact number is available: 0800 4402516."

The CWP service is provided in addition to the 'Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub' - an East Suffolk Council initiative which has commissioned beds in Lowestoft.

Genesis and Notting Hill Association also offer a short stay emergency bed in Felixstowe. Referrals can be made by contacting the East Suffolk housing needs team.

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