31 January 2020
Homelessness services in Preston have received a significant boost with over £900,000 of Government funding being allocated to support rough sleepers in the city.
Preston City Council along with its partners the Foxton Centre and Community Gateway Association (CGA) has successfully bid for £901,528 in funding from the Government's Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI).
The funding will see existing services extended for another year as well as a number of new initiatives set up to support more rough sleepers.
Councillor Nweeda Khan, Cabinet Member for Communities and Social Justice at Preston City Council, said:
"Homelessness is on the rise throughout the country and this new funding will allow us to continue providing vital services to rough sleepers in Preston.
"People may find themselves homeless for any number of reasons and these services are a lifeline to help people get back on their feet and move forward in their lives.
"This funding will also allow us to expand the services we provide to support more people and tackle the causes of homelessness."
As part of the new funding the Foxton Centre will establish an in-reach programme to support people discharged from prison and hospital who often don't have anywhere to go and end up rough sleeping.
The funding will also see the creation of a specialist service to support women with multiple complex needs as well as a dedicated full time mental health support team.
Jeff Marsh, Chief Executive of The Foxton Centre, said:
"We are starting to make a real difference to the lives of rough sleepers in the city, and this money will allow us to continue our successful work for another year.
"Last month alone we provided temporary accommodation for 22 people in the hub and worked with 50 rough sleepers through our outreach service
"While this funding is vitally important we still rely on generous donations from people in the city who continue to provide homeless people with the opportunity to improve their lives."
Louise Mattinson, CGA Executive Director of Customers and Communities, said,
"We are delighted that the bid has been successful and are looking forward to working with our partners to ensure that these vital services can be continued and built upon over the coming year.
"CGA are committed to working with our local authority to help tackle homelessness in our City, and this innovative, flagship scheme has already helped so many of the most vulnerable people in our community.
"The extension provides the opportunity to help even more and bring additional benefits to the wider community."
The funding was formally accepted at full Council at their meeting on 30 January 2020.
Established in 2005, Community Gateway Association (CGA) is the largest social housing association in Preston and is responsible for more than 6,500 homes and 12 sheltered living schemes in the Preston area.
CGA was the first housing association in the country to adopt the 'Community Gateway' model - giving tenants and local residents a direct say in how the organisation operates, as well as being an early adoptee of the National Housing Federation's 'Together with Tenants' charter that aims to give tenants more rights and control.
From its origins as a youth centre in Avenham in 1969, the Foxton Centre is a proud Preston charity and a strong community anchor. From our community base we work with many people on the margins of city life - rough sleepers, street sex workers, young people in the Avenham district - who often face problems with poverty, addiction, and mental health issues.