Tower Hamlets awarded £330,000 for projects on rough sleeping

TowerTower Hamlets Council was today (December 9, 2014) awarded £330,000 to lead ambitious tri-borough projects to support vulnerable homeless people and rough sleepers.
Tower Hamlets, together with partner boroughs Hackney and the City of London, will use this funding to:Provide a rapid intensive housing options service to prevent individuals from rough sleeping – No First Night Out
Provide a ‘routes to roots’ reconnection service for rough sleepers from other boroughs who end up rough sleeping in Tower Hamlets, Hackney or the City of London
Commission and publish research into common traits of local rough sleepers and disseminate findings; and develop assessment tools for spotting First Night Out rough sleepers.
‘Routes to Roots’ and the Council’s ongoing work to support rough sleepers is already taking place across the borough. This funding will help the Council to become more ambitious in its aims to ensure no one has to sleep rough.
The existing Routes to Roots service was commissioned by Tower Hamlets Council and is delivered by Providence Row, a charity that tackles the causes of homelessness. It aims to address one of the key challenges faced by many of the capital’s hospitals: sourcing a rehousing option for their homeless out-of-borough patients.
Patrick is one person who benefitted from Routes to Roots after he was treated at the Royal London in Whitechapel for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The hospital put Patrick in touch with the service when they discovered he was homeless. He was secured temporary housing in Hackney, an area he knows well.
Speaking about the Providence Row support worker who helped him, Patrick said: “Paulina came to the hospital to see me every couple of days. She’s been my mentor ever since. She took all my details and she helped me to sort out somewhere to stay when I left the hospital.”
The Routes to Roots service was also recently highly commended at the Andy Ludlow Homelessness Awards.
This funding was announced today by both the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), and the Greater London Authority (GLA). £250,000 comes from DCLG’s Single Homeless Fund, which it is hoped will support around 22,000 single homeless people. An additional £80,000 will come from the GLA, to help the three boroughs prevent rough sleeping.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “This increased investment to support rough sleepers in the borough is extremely important. On the run up to Christmas we must remember that there are vulnerable people out there in the freezing cold. This extra funding will help the council to do an even better job to support them, and ensure that they have somewhere warm to stay at night.”
Cllr Rabina Khan, cabinet member for housing and development, said: “Our officers have been working incredibly hard to support rough sleepers in the borough for a long time. This extra funding will help them to continue their vital work to ensure that no one in this borough has to sleep on the streets at night.”
This is not the first time that Tower Hamlets has been recognised for its hard work with rough sleepers. Earlier this year, the Director of the Mayor of London’s No Second Night Out programme praised the Council in a letter.
Petra Salva said: “My observation is that the London Borough of Tower Hamlets is absolutely committed to trying to end rough sleeping. At the heart of their strategy is the fundamental belief that rough sleeping is harmful and dangerous, and it is an unacceptable condition for anyone to find themselves in.
“To this end, their commitment to tackling rough sleeping comes from the top and is a strategy that clearly translates into practice on the ground, including their work with us at No Second Night Out.”

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