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Preston rough sleepers could get more help if new funding bid approved

Posted on - 17th June, 2018 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Avenham, Charities, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News
A man sits on Preston's streets Pic: KrzysztofTe Foto Blog
A man sits on Preston’s streets Pic: KrzysztofTe Foto Blog

Rough sleepers in Preston could be given more chance of a roof over their heads if the city is successful in a bid for a major funding boost.

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Preston City Council has co-ordinated a plan to land a slice of the government’s £30million rough sleeper fund.

With the backing of The Foxton Centre, the main provider of help to the homeless in the city, the city council has asked for £417,780.

This would see more than £200,000 invested each year in support for the homeless in the city.

Figures released in February this year said Preston had 17 registered rough sleepers – the highest in Lancashire.

Reports to the city council’s cabinet outline because the deadline was so short, mid-May, it had to waive its normal procurement rules for a contract of more than £100,000, and work directly with The Foxton Centre.

Read more: Foxton Centre takes stock after a harsh winter

The funding would be used to make more ‘interventions’ from October this year to try and help those sleeping on the streets.

A winter morning Inside The Foxton Centre
A winter morning Inside The Foxton Centre

Throughout the bitterly cold winter of 2017-18 the city’s rough sleeping population had the cold weather warning triggered a number of times, leading to dozens of people staying at the Foxton Centre in Avenham.

In March a man passed away who had been sleeping rough in the city centre. He was found collapsed on the Flag Market and taken to hospital where he later died.

Jeff Marsh, CEO at The Foxton Centre
Jeff Marsh, CEO at The Foxton Centre

Chief executive of the Foxton Centre Jeff Marsh said: “We have been involved in the development of this bid.

“It’s really positive and exciting news for the city.

“It does mean, if successful, there will be expanded provision for rough sleepers in the city.”

Read more: How this woman is helping keep Preston’s rough sleepers warm

The bid being prepared would see two extra staff members on the Foxton Centre’s intervention team and to increase the opening times of the winter provision from October to March regardless of the weather.

The city council is due to find out if it’s been successful by the end of June.

What do you think of the funding bid? Is enough done to help the city’s homeless? Let us know in the comments below

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