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New homeless centre set to open in Cornwall

New homeless centre set to open in Cornwall

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:00am 1st June 2019.

A new homeless centre is set to open in Cornwall.

Officials say that recently announced government funding will go towards funding a mobile Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub in the Duchy.

It will provide a safe environment which is open and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Anyone who is at imminent risk of, or already, rough sleeping can be helped and it will be delivered in partnership with Cornwall Housing Ltd, Cosgarne and St Petroc’s.

The money will also be used for a Supported Lettings Scheme, which will provide help for rough sleepers as they move into independent accommodation, and Navigators, aimed at people with complex needs who may have been sleeping rough for some time, to address issues around addiction, mental health, and housing.

There will also be funding for a local lettings agency to help single people and couples with no children, who are at risk of, or who have, slept rough, access private rented accommodation.

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It comes as Cornwall Council asks for people's thoughts on how they can work together to tackle homelessness across the county - as it holds a consultation.

It wants to hear from organisations that work with the homeless and from people who have experienced homelessness or been threatened with homelessness as it works to update its Homelessness Strategy.

Have your say here.

In December last year, there were 53 people recorded as rough sleeping in Cornwall.

That is compared to 68 reported in November 2017 and 99 the year before that, according to official figures.

The 46% reduction in the total number of rough sleepers recorded in Cornwall since November 2016 bucks the national trend.

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"Tackling homelessness is a priority for Cornwall Council. It is something that can affect anyone at any time.

"Every day our residents are under increasing financial pressure as a result of high housing costs, low wages and significant welfare reform.

"Homelessness can also come about because of relationship breakdown, debt and through ill health.

"More and more families and individuals are facing homelessness and we need to work together to help find solutions."

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for homes Andrew Mitchell

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Since April 2018 Cornwall Council received 8,784 approaches for help from households threatened with homelessness. Over 78% of those were given advice and help so that they could avoid becoming homeless.

There were around 250 households in temporary accommodation in Cornwall at any one time with around a third of those in bed and breakfast or hotels because the Council does not have enough temporary accommodation of its own to offer them.

The Council says it is working to bridge that gap by committing to buy 250 homes for people in need of temporary accommodation.

The homes will be spread throughout Cornwall so that those who find themselves in need of a temporary home whilst they are helped to find a more permanent option, can still be near work, school and family.

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