Bringing an end to homelessness in Maldon: could the pandemic see an end to rough sleeping?

By The Editor

7th Sep 2021 | Local News

Could the pandemic bring about an end to homelessness in Maldon district?
Could the pandemic bring about an end to homelessness in Maldon district?

MALDON has partnered up with four other districts across the county to help bring about an end to homelessness throughout the area.

The Essex Rough Sleeper Outreach Service was launched last September – and has now been able to make the most of the situation brought about by the pandemic – where rough sleepers were brought in off the streets into emergency accommodation.

The service works with a homelessness charity called CHESS (Churches Homeless Emergency Support Scheme), providing temporary shelter and support to homeless people to help keep them housed.

Since its launch, the service has helped 158 rough sleepers across Maldon, Chelmsford, Rochford, Epping Forest and Braintree districts.

On the 24 June this year, the Government announced an additional £105million rough sleeper Covid-19 funding for England, known as The Next Steps Accommodation Programme (NSAP).

This funding was to be used to support rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness into tenancies of their own, including help with deposits for accommodation, and securing thousands of alternative rooms already available and ready for use, such as student accommodation. The five Essex district councils in the partnership, including Maldon, secured a £300,000 slice of the fund.

"It is all too easy for people to move to judgement" – Essex County Council.

Now, as World Homelessness Day approaches on Saturday (10 October), Maldon District Council and its county partners are "encouraged by the work carried out this year to house people sleeping rough".

A spokesperson for Essex County Council said: "This vital work to house all rough sleepers is a silver lining to the challenges COVID-19 has placed on all of us.

"When dealing with the homeless and rough sleepers, it is all too easy for people to move to judgement. Many of these people are there due to factors beyond their control and it is in the interests of all of us that we help them back towards leading a stable life.

"We will continue to work to this end. No-one placed in emergency accommodation under COVID-19 will be asked to leave without an offer of accommodation and support to end their rough sleeping."

Anyone who is concerned about a particular rough sleeper, who is over 18, should visit the Street Link website here.

Anyone concerned about a rough sleeper who is aged under 18 should call emergency services on 999.

     

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