Quarter of a million pounds has been awarded from the government’s Help for Homeless fund.
The successful bid was lead by Exeter City Council and includes Exeter, Teignbridge, East Devon, Mid Devon and Torbay. An additional combined total of £35,000 will be donated by the local authorities involved in the project.
The new funding will provide:
* Three specialist case workers managing complex homeless clients. These will be based in Exeter and Torbay with an outreach to more rural areas as required. They will offer personalised support and interventions.
* New ways of working with the Prison and Probation Service will be trialled with two Offender Resettlement Workers working with individuals from Exeter and Channings Wood resettlement prisons. This will ensure that specialist housing advice and assistance is integrated with the new supervision requirements post prison release. This element will be delivered through the voluntary sector with a yet to be determined partner.
* Enhanced accommodation opportunities for single homeless clients will be delivered across the partnership. Working with private and affordable housing providers they will explore innovative accommodation options without needing ongoing financial commitment.
* A Private Sector Development Officer (Torbay only) to increase the supply of suitable accommodation.
* Further training for front line staff to reduce the call on specialist interventions.
Cllr Rob Hannaford, Lead Councillor for Housing and Customer Access, said: "This is fantastic news. The money will go a long way towards addressing the problem of homelessness on the streets of Exeter and elsewhere. There are a significant number of homeless people who have complex issues and I am not going to pretend that this is simply going to act as a magic wand but it will allow us to focus our resources in tackling the problem with a personalized approach."
Councillor Jill Elson, East Devon District Council's Cabinet Member for Sustainable Homes and Communities, said: “The Help for Homeless funding is a very welcome windfall, which will be of enormous benefit to helping homeless people across Devon. The new initiatives and additional manpower will support our on going partnership working to reduce homelessness.”
Cllr John Goodey, Teignbridge District Council’s executive spokesman for housing and planning, said: “It is great news to see additional funding coming to help those who often fall through the net. This much needed boost will assist Teignbridge Council in keeping rough sleeping numbers low and making the best use of properties which can offer much needed accommodation for single people. I am also really encouraged to see that opportunities to work in partnership with local partners such as Channings Wood have been included to improve the pathways to accommodation as part of their rehabilitation.”