Package to tackle root causes of homelessness

Telford & Wrekin Council has revealed an extensive package of pro-active measures to tackle the root causes of homelessness in the borough.

Package to tackle root causes of homelessness

The announcement comes after Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet allocated £100,000 of the Telford 50 legacy funding to help prevent people becoming homeless.

How the money is spent has been decided by a small advisory panel involving council representatives and key partners like Maninplace, STAY, TACT and the YMCA.

It will be used to fund the following:

•Tenant ready training: the aim is for this to be an accredited training package so tenants receive a certificate at the end of the training to help them demonstrate to prospective landlords that they are able to be good tenants

•Recruitment of a homelessness mental health worker – to work directly with homeless people with mental health issues. This will involve proactive help, such as getting people into local volunteering opportunities and training programmes

•Recruitment of a resettlement officer – to co-ordinate and deliver accommodation to aid community resettlement and supervision for offenders

•Recruitment of a life coach – to work one to one with homeless people that do not interact well with others, building up to small groups where people can gain the confidence can go onto employment/training

•Recruitment of a Volunteer Link Co-ordinator – to make best use of existing volunteers and attract new volunteers and attract new volunteers to assist homeless people and also to manage and be a main point of contact for community donations

Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for Housing, said: “The projects to be funded are mainly about tackling the underlying causes of homelessness such as mental health, not having a job and poor life skills.

“The common perception of homelessness tends to be people seen sleeping rough but in actual fact, homelessness is a complex issue.

“There are numerous reasons why people may lose their home and sometimes the loss may be through no fault of their own.

“Not all homeless people live on the street – some people may have access to some form of shelter some of the time but not on a stable, long term basis.

“We have recognised this and have made homelessness and housing a key priority. We are extremely fortunate in Telford and Wrekin to have excellent partnerships with a range of local organisations who have all worked hard to prevent homelessness over many years.

“We recognised at an early stage that preventing homelessness should be a priority with the aim being helping people to remain in their own home or to help source other accommodation to prevent homelessness.

“Along with partners and services throughout the borough, we aim to provide a service that produces personal housing plans for clients to help them access suitable accommodation.

“As part of the 50th anniversary of Telford, we announced £2m towards legacy projects which are designed to ensure that the celebrations have a lasting impact for years to come.

“Almost 1.400 people took part in the consultation to find out how people wanted this money spent and one of the areas identified was homelessness.

“We therefore allocated £100,000 towards preventing and tackling homelessness and the aim is for the money to be used to address the root causes of what makes people at risk of becoming homeless.”

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