SOUTH Lakeland District Council has been given £176,000 to help roll out a Cumbria-wide project to help rough sleepers off the streets.
The Government cash was handed to the authority on behalf of the county's six district councils to launch a scheme called No Second Night Out, a national initiative which aims to prevent and tackle rough sleeping amongst single people.
Support includes emergency accommodation, access to a safe place, advice and access to services like health care if necessary.
If homeless people are from another part of the UK or a different country, the help can include reconnecting them to local community and family and friends so they are able to access services to help them find a home.
To take part, councils have to work towards the No Second Night Out standard by identifying new rough sleepers in their area and helping them off the streets so they do not become ‘established’ rough sleepers.
Coun Clare Feeney-Johnson, SLDC deputy leader, said: “SLDC in common with all other district councils in Cumbria do not want anyone to have to sleep rough and are committed to doing everything to prevent homelessness because it ruins people’s lives.
“Preventing homelessness is a major priority for all the councils across Cumbria and this new scheme will help to tackle the issue.
“Members of the public who suspect someone may be living on the streets should contact their local council or Street Link, as it may save a life.”
Coun George Clements, chairman of the Cumbria Housing Executive Group, added: “We welcome this opportunity to work in partnership across the county to tackle an issue that affects each district.
“This is an opportunity for local authorities to take positive steps to ensure that support and accommodation is provided to some of the most vulnerable people on our communities.”
A steering group has now been set up to decide how to best use the grant to ensure single homelessness across Cumbria is addressed.
Anyone who suspects a person is sleeping rough can contact Street Link on 0300 500 0914 or via www.streetlink.org.uk