Extra provision for rough sleepers in St Albans district
- Credit: Archant
Charities and the council are making extra provision for homeless people during this week’s severe weather.
Snow has been falling regularly in St Albans and temperatures have fallen below freezing.
The district council’s head of housing Karen Dragovic said: “We carried out a count of rough sleepers on one night in November last year and five were identified, although of course the figure could vary day by day.
“We give extra help to them during severe weather every year and our plan has been in place at times of cold weather this winter since late November. It involves working with a number of partner organisations.
“We’ve arranged for the Open Door shelter to provide five additional beds and a further five beds have been made available elsewhere through the Winter Beds Project. This is an initiative set up by a partnership of city centre churches, faith groups, Open Door and Hightown Housing Association.
You may also want to watch:
“Centre 33 in Spicer Street, St Albans, operates a drop-in service offering hot food and drink.
“We have also asked all our staff to be vigilant and report any concerns about rough sleepers they may come across. We would ask the public to do the same.
- 1 7 of the best brunches in St Albans and Harpenden
- 2 Ammunition found in bag on St Albans street
- 3 'Abusive and aggressive' St Albans man given Criminal Behaviour Order
- 4 Teenager strangled in attack in St Albans park
- 5 Bee inspired by new display at St Albans restaurant
- 6 Harpenden's Olympic hero watches daughter win gold
- 7 150 homes plan for Green Belt land in north St Albans is approved
- 8 6 Oscar-winning movies filmed on location in Hertfordshire
- 9 The latest court results for the St Albans area
- 10 Why has it taken so long for Young's to open St Albans pub?
“Last year we secured a £500,000 grant from the government for extra homeless services.
“We are using some of this to pay for a street drinking outreach worker to be employed by Hightown. They will make face-to-face contact with rough sleepers and provide advice.
“The money is also funding a scheme to make it easier for people seeking housing assistance to find privately rented homes. Two new housing officers are being recruited to run this.
“We are also providing funding to the Credit Union so people can access affordable loans for deposits and their first month’s rent.
“In 2016, we updated our Homelessness Strategy which details our planned actions and our main priorities for dealing with homeless issues.
“These include taking measures to identify those at risk and intervening to prevent them from becoming homeless.”