Homeless Grants for SMBC

Keen readers may have already been made aware of this great new2s via the media reports that followed the announcement of the grants.

A super early Christmas present for Solihull was the news of a successful bid and two grants awarded to Solihull Borough Metropolitan Borough Council by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The two grants are as follows:

Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer – A direct allocation of additional funding of £305,204 to Solihull enabling us to work with our partners to enhance services that will be delivered through the youth hub for 16-24 year olds who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless – the funding will enable the appointment of early help co-ordinators to work with partners to identify those at risk as early as possible, preventing homelessness before crisis and offering services in community locations, direct funding of programmes providing mental health support to young people, their parents and carers and staff who work with them and the funding of a specialist officer to support the evaluation of the pilot.

The £305,204 will enhance the services to be provided through the youth accommodation and support pathway for those aged 16 – 24 when it launches in April 2017 and up to the end of March 2019. As part of this Solihull will work closely with government through a network of the 28 successful Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer areas (which also includes Birmingham). In total 122 bids were submitted for the trailblazer programme.

The approach being proposed through the youth pathway will improve the offer to homeless young people aged 16 – 24, moving away from a model based on statutory decision making to an inclusive service focused on early intervention, prevention and on-going support where needed. The Council has already approved the funding for a 2 year pilot of a model that will:

  • address the rising levels of need amongst young singles,
  • demonstrate the opportunities for better outcomes for young people,
  • evidence cost savings, and;
  • provide the data to draw up a business case for on-going provision, utilising the savings generated.

These additional programmes will complement and enhance our service offer to young people who are homeless / threatened with homelessness (through the launch of Solihull’s youth hub in April 2017) and the housing advice and outreach service for vulnerable adults aged 25+ which is currently being commissioned. Overall it puts us in a positive position to move forward on improving our approach to providing advice, assistance and prevention services to all in our Borough who are homeless and threatened with homelessness.

Rough Sleeper Grant Funding – A share of £400,000 allocated to Birmingham and Solihull deliver effective transition and transformation pathways for vulnerable individuals who are either sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough – the funding will pay for designated Multiple-Disadvantage Response Team covering Birmingham and Solihull which will comprise of a health professional, substance misuse workers and housing and support officers.  It will also enable new early intervention partnership arrangements with the Prison service and key hospitals working with those at risk of homelessness and test out approaches to emergency assessment on the streets, short stay accommodation and the provision of a range of public sector services on an outreach basis.

New partnership arrangements will be put in place with a focus on 4 key actions:

  1. The offer of a safe place to sleep / stay
  2. A physical health check
  3. A mental health assessment
  4. Substance misuse screening This will be delivered through a designated Multiple-Disadvantage Response Team covering Birmingham and Solihull. The team will comprise of the skills of a health professional, substance misuse workers and housing and support officers. The funding will also develop new early intervention partnership arrangements with the Prison service and key hospitals working with those at risk of homelessness on discharge and test out approaches to emergency assessment, triage and the provision of a range of public sector services on an outreach basis. This will include the provision of emergency beds to get people of the streets whilst assessments are carried out and cross-agency arrangements for move-on support are agreed.

The credit for all this goes to the excellent officers from the councils Housing Strategy Team for making the successful bid.

More information about the announcement from DCLG can be found via their website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-announces-areas-to-benefit-from-50m-fund-to-tackle-homelessness


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