Dorset Council wins £500,000 to help rough sleepers

Dorset Council wins £500,000 to help rough sleepers

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:52am 19th February 2020. (Updated at 8:06am 19th February 2020)

Nearly £500,000 will be spent tackling rough sleeping in Dorset.

A grant comes from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government comes after a successful bid by Dorset Council's Housing Team.

The local authority worked on the bid with the help of local groups including Julian House, The Lantern Trust, The Bus Shelter and Citizens Advice.

The money will enable Julian House and The Lantern to work across Dorset, to help get people off the streets and into accommodation and consolidate their work in Weymouth.

Photo of beds at Safe Sleep

The services work with rough sleepers as well as those at risk of rough sleeping and those leading street-based lifestyles which may involve begging and street-drinking. 

  • 18 people were sleeping rough in the Borough in 2018 - that figure fell to 6 last year.
  • However, despite an overall reduction in rough sleeping in Dorset from 35 in 2018 to 18 in 2019, other areas of Dorset have seen an increase.
  • In North Dorset numbers have increased from one to four.  
homeless person in Weymouth

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Portfolio holder for Housing at Dorset Council said: 

"We're committed to reducing the number of rough sleepers in our county and to provide support to rough sleepers who have been re-housed to help them remain in accommodation. 

"The funding will continue our existing partnership work and provides an important opportunity to extend this work across the rural areas of Dorset." 

The bus shelter Dorset bus 1

Helen Bedser, Chief Executive of Julian House, one of the key organisations which will be delivering homeless services, said: 

"Over the past two years, working in close cooperation with organisations like The Lantern Trust, we have been able to make some real progress around rough sleeper numbers and, more importantly create positive outcomes for some of the most vulnerable members of society. 

"Long experience has shown that getting someone off the streets is just the start of their pathway away from homelessness.  
"Tailored support when they move into accommodation helps to ensure that they don't fail and finish up back in a very vulnerable dangerous existence." 

Anyone concerned about a rough sleeper should report it via StreetLink: