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Homelessness hub to be opened in Medway as part of £100 million government Rough Sleeping Strategy

A £415,000 centre to help the homeless recover from life on the streets is to open in the county.

The Somewhere Safe to Stay centre will be one of 11 set up across the country as part of the government's £100 million Rough Sleeping Strategy.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire will announce the move today, with the centre in Medway set to open its doors in the spring.

The hub will be opened in the spring
The hub will be opened in the spring

Those sleeping on the streets or at risk of becoming homeless will be able to access immediate shelter and services to deal with issues such as mental health problems and substance abuse.

The government's fight to end homelessness will see £64m provided to 80 councils over the next two years.

So far the funding has created 1,750 bed spaces and 500 outreach workers.

Mr Brokenshire said: “No one should ever have to face a night on the streets. The new centre announced today will mean vulnerable people sleeping rough in Medway will have somewhere safe to stay while they recover from life on the streets.

“These are vulnerable people, often dealing with complex mental health problems and addictions, requiring specialist help to truly tackle these issues head on and turn their lives around.

"The new centre announced today will mean vulnerable people sleeping rough in Medway will have somewhere safe to stay while they recover from life on the streets..." - Communities Secretary James Brokenshire

“That’s why these vital new hubs will ensure those on the streets have access to professional help and guidance to start their recovery.”

The hub in Medway will link in to existing council services, which include a housing related support programme and supported accommodation for those without a home, ex-offenders and young people.

Users will be quickly assessed by specialist outreach workers allowing them to get the support they need to take the first steps towards recovery.

The hubs will seek to identify the issues that led to an individual sleeping on the streets in the first place and provide support to help them through things like a relationship breakdown, addiction or financial difficulties.

An estimated 6,000 people are expected to receive support through the centres by 2020.

It is the only hub in Kent.

Medway Council said an operator would be appointed in the New Year after which point they will be in a position to say exactly when and where it will open.

Cabinet member for housing Cllr Howard Doe said: "We will be able to house five rough sleepers at any time who will also receive food, a hot shower and a change of clothes. Staff will then be able to carry out a full assessment of their needs and we will be able to give them specialist, tailored advice, and, where possible, help them into long term accommodation.

"Once the centre is open, we aim to be able to help rough sleepers within 72 hours of them being referred to us.

"We will continue to help rough sleepers from outside of Medway to reconnect with and receive support from their own local authority."

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