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GOVT CONFIRMS HELP FOR PEOPLE SLEEPING ROUGH IN BRISTOL

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£7.5 million funding from the department of the environment and the department of health to provide help and accomm...
£7.5 million funding from the department of the environment and the department of health to provide help and accommodation for people sleeping rough in Bristol was today confirmed by housing minister, and minister for the South West, David Curry and health minister Simon Burns.

The money, from the third phase of the Rough Sleepers Initiative and the Homeless Mentally Ill Initiative, will fund:

-- at least 150 new permanent self-contained homes, around a third of which will attract a management allowance to provide extra support for people with special needs, including mental ill health, and drink and drugs misuse problems;

-- 18 bedspaces in new self-contained accommodation, providing care for homeless people with mental ill health;

-- 2 new hostels, providing 40 bedspaces for men and women; and

-- 18 outreach and resettlement workers to help people who are sleeping rough to move away from the streets and to support them in adjusting to life in new accommodation.

Bids have also been invited to provide a winter shelter between December 1996 and March 1997 to provide free accommodation for people who would otherwise be at risk of sleeping rough during the coldest months of the year.

Commenting on the allocation of funds, Mr Curry said:

'The government is committed to ensuring that there is no necessity for people to sleep rough. I announced in March that the successful Rough Sleepers Initiative would be continued in central London, where it has provided help for thousands of people with a history of sleeping rough, and that it would be extended to Bristol, where a major rough sleeping problem had been identified.

'Bristol City Council has worked with local statutory and voluntary sector agencies to produce a strategy for tackling rough sleeping in Bristol. The funding I am announcing today will play a large part in the strategy. I have every confidence that Bristol City Council, together with the statutory and voluntary sector agencies involved in the Rough Sleepers Initiative in Bristol, will make it a success and ensure that there is no necessity for people to sleep rough in the city.'

Health Minister Simon Burns said: 'I am delighted to be able to confirm funding of nearly £1 million over the next three years to help meet the needs of homeless mentally ill people in Bristol. The funding will cover the costs of 18 new high and medium care bedspaces being developed with the help of the Housing Corporation and the costs of six specialist outreach and resettlement workers. This will make a real contribution to the needs of this very vulnerable group of people.'

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