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Funding to help tackle rough sleeping in West Suffolk

West Suffolk House. Picture: Mark Westley. (2171090)
West Suffolk House. Picture: Mark Westley. (2171090)

A move to help rough sleepers off the streets in Bury St Edmunds has received a £250,000 boost from central Government.

West Suffolk Councils successfully bid for £245,782 towards initiatives to support people who are homeless.

Currently there are an estimated 29 rough sleepers across the councils with 22 located in Bury itself.

The money is part of a £30 million national fund awarded to councils that have a high number of rough sleepers.

Last year the council appointed Rhys Walters as rough sleeper prevention and support officer.

The two councils Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury are aiming for a holistic approach to the problem and to offer people ongoing support once they have a roof over their head.

The money will be used to add five more outreach worker posts to the the existing outreach team of three which includes Mr Walters.

The bid is supported by a range of partner agencies working with West Suffolk. These include Home Group, Notting Hill Genesis, Turning Point, Anglia Care Trust, Cambridge Pringle Group, Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, Havebury Housing, YMCA, Riverside Housing, Suffolk County Council and the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group.

Cllr Sarah Mildmay-White, West Suffolk cabinet member for housing, said: "Our bid was so successful because we have taken a holistic approach to this, working together with partners and looking at not only ways of helping people off the streets and into a home but then helping them stay there."