THE Government is giving more money to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council to help tackle the issue of rough sleeping in the area.

The £143,000 top-up comes from a £100 million funding pot as part of the National Rough Sleeping Strategy.

Since summer 2018, the former Bournemouth council, now part of BCP Council, has received more than £1.5m to help rough sleepers into accommodation and provide them with ongoing support.

So far the money has been invested in employing more frontline outreach workers who work directly with people living on the streets, as well as a co-ordinator and other specialist staff.

The work to date has focused mainly on the Bournemouth area, which has the highest number of rough sleepers, but the additional £143,000 will also benefit Poole and Christchurch, the council says.

Councillor Kieron Wilson, cabinet member for housing, said the council was “already seeing significant results in helping more people off the streets”.

“It’s important that we direct the funding to the right areas to ensure we have the most impact, including frontline outreach, drug and alcohol support as well as mental health support.

“Often those sleeping rough have very complex needs and some may have been on the streets for a long time and so it requires intensive and specialist support to ensure vulnerable people can move off the streets and into suitable accommodation and receive the ongoing support they need.”

Since August 2018, 55 vulnerable people who were sleeping rough in Bournemouth were supported into temporary accommodation as a result of the additional funding, according to the council.

Many have now moved into longer-term accommodation as a result.

An average of 10 to 15 people are helped off the streets each month across the BCP Council conurbation.

As part of the total funding awarded, £183,600 was recently given to the former Bournemouth council to employ three ‘navigators’ to work closely with individuals and support them from rough sleeping into permanent, stable accommodation, as well as provide them with ongoing support to sustain a tenancy and prevent returns to the street.

The latest funding from the government will also go towards move-on costs, training, education and additional support, which will be dependent on individual needs, the council says.