£80,000 of funding granted to help homeless in Derbyshire

Credit: PA

Derbyshire County Council has approved over £80,000 of funding designed to help support homeless people in Derbyshire.

The money will be used to provide two support workers for the No Second Night Out scheme.

Launched in 2011, No Second Night Out is a national initiative calling on all councils to tackle rough sleeping.

In response to this Derbyshire Homeless Officers Group (DHOG) have been working with Derby City Mission to provide church rooms for communal sleeping in Chesterfield and Derby.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic the usual arrangements are not currently an option due to the need for appropriate social distancing to be in place.

To address this, DHOG are using the Mount Cook Outdoor Centre in Wirksworth to run a scheme from 1 December 2020 until 28 February 2021.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said: “We are pleased to be able to support the No Second Night Out initiative.

“While homelessness is primarily a district and borough council responsibility, during these unprecedented times, it is important that we all work together.

“Homelessness is a complex issue and getting people into safe accommodation is vital but is just part of the process.

“Offering additional support and signposting to long term help is also important in ensuring that people are able to stay safe permanently.”

District and borough councils are working in partnership with the YMCA to provide 36 single room beds, with an option to increase to 46, using pod accommodation on the Mount Cook site.

The extra capacity will allow for out-of-hours emergency homelessness provision and the site location and layout enables social distancing and self-isolation to be carried out.

Derbyshire County Council is providing £82,000 for two on-site support workers, as the volunteers who normally support the scheme are unable to do so due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Providing funding to cover the cost of the support workers offers an opportunity to link residents with appropriate support services such as healthcare, drugs and alcohol support as well as mental health support services to improve the health and wellbeing of the residents and support them to move into more long term accommodation.