HOMELESS people will no longer get direct access to a night shelter under a new system in Bournemouth.

Council chiefs are putting the final touches to a new system whereby those in need of a roof over their head will have to go directly to the council instead of being able to turn up at St Paul’s night shelter or the YMCA.

In changes coming into full effect next month rough sleepers will be channelled into a new three tier “pathway” where they go through different levels of development aimed at getting them back on their feet.

Those in need of intensive help will go to one of the town’s smaller and lesser known hostels for help with problems including drugs or gambling.

St Paul’s near the train station is expected to form part of the second stage with the YMCA’s Delta House providing second stage housing with their single rooms.

The 22 flats at Delta House in Westover Road will be among the housing given to those at the last stage of rehabilitation as they look to become independent.

Bournemouth council currently spends £1.95m on helping the 5,000 people who approach them each year with the problem of being homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The council has recognised the town suffers from higher levels of homelessness than many others and will continue to prioritise helping people with a local connection.

For example Bournemouth had 1310 rough sleepers in the 2010/2011 financial year, which is 67 per cent higher than Bradford, with a population three times greater.

Those with no link to the town will be helped to “re-connect” with their home area if safe to do so, with the aim of providing only one night’s shelter in Bournemouth.

Councillor Blair Crawford, who is Chief Executive of the YMCA, said: “ It should all work better in making sure that people get the right type of support and help them for the future.”