Communities secretary James Brokenshire has announced a £30m cash boost to tackle rough sleepers in the worst hit parts of the country.
Councils across England with the highest number of people sleeping on their streets will benefit from the extra funding, which will be used to provide an extra 1,750 beds and 531 homelessness workers.
Announcing the cash, Mr Brokenshire said: ‘No one should ever have to sleep rough. I am determined that more people living on the streets and those at risk this coming winter get the help they need now.
‘That’s why I am making £30 million available that will help councils boost the immediate support they are able to offer. Whether this pays for more beds or more outreach workers this will make a real difference now.
‘Many challenging factors lie behind rough sleeping, from mental health problems to addiction and our long-term strategy to be published this summer will outline how we plan to tackle them and eliminate rough sleeping for good.’
In total, 83 areas will receive the extra funding. Councils benefiting from the scheme will include Manchester, Brighton, Westminster, Leicester, Plymouth and Lincoln City Councils, Camden LBC and Cornwall.
Chief executive of St Mungos, Howard Sinclair, said: ‘Given how dangerous it is to sleep rough, we are pleased that ministers have recognised that urgent action is needed to support people off the street and out of danger, as well as to prevent people ending up on the streets in the first place.
‘While this money is a welcome first step, we hope that the Government will provide sufficient funding alongside its forthcoming rough sleeping strategy to achieve the Prime Minister’s goal of halving rough sleeping in this parliament and ending it within ten years.’
The Government will publish its rough sleeping strategy next month, setting out plans to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and get rid of it by 2027.