REVIEW OF THE YEAR: Homeless people get a £700,000 boost

HOMELESS people in Fenland were given a £700,000 boost in April, after Fenland District Council teamed up with the Ferry Project in Wisbech to bid for funding from the Government s Places for Change Programme. The bid to build new accommodation for 24 hom

HOMELESS people in Fenland were given a £700,000 boost in April, after Fenland District Council teamed up with the Ferry Project in Wisbech to bid for funding from the Government's Places for Change Programme.

The bid to build new accommodation for 24 homeless people to replace the current hostel accommodation in Mill Close, secured funding support despite the fact that applications to the programme were hugely over-subscribed.

The aim of the joint initiative was to deliver a much better quality physical environment for people who find themselves homeless. The new accommodation set a benchmark for the provision of services and activities for homeless people, including professional staff on hand at all times and greater involvement from those who use the service.

A major aim of the new-build initiative was to increase the number of people who were able to move on positively and with prospects from the new accommodation.


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The new facility placed greater emphasis on developing educational training and work-related skills to better equip people to rebuild their lives.

The new building will enable the hostel-style flats in the Mill Close to be redeployed as one or two bedroom move-on units, providing residents with greater independence and responsibility.

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The new accommodation represents a shift in emphasis away from conventional hostel-style accommodation towards a more supportive assessment and resettlement environment in line with the aims of the Supporting People in Cambridgeshire initiative.

Cllr Kit Owen, Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Communities, said: "The council is increasingly looking to work closely with partners to deliver improvements across a variety of services to local people.

"This joint initiative between the council and the Ferry Project is a classic example of the benefits of pooling resources and know-how. Securing this funding will make a massive difference to local people who find themselves homeless. It will give them a better environment and opportunity to get back on their feet.

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