Wiltshire Council has secured a £150k grant from central government to build on the work already in place to encourage rough sleepers to get vaccinated and find more suitable accommodation.
The council works with partners on measures to encourage rough sleepers into permanent accommodation that meets their specific needs and to promote take-up of COVID-19 vaccines or the booster. The council is collaborating with public health to take vaccines to individuals with a health bus to maximise the take up among this group.
Government funding has already been used to provide self-contained provision to assist with the prevention and spread of COVID-19 and initiatives such as Protect means any verified rough sleeper is made an offer of accommodation. This has been really successful at driving down street homelessness across Wiltshire and supporting vulnerable people during the pandemic.
In this latest allocation Wiltshire will be receiving £150,438 and will be working with partners to consider how to spend the money effectively.
Cllr Phil Alford, Cabinet Member for Housing said: "We have a committed team who work with the homeless and rough sleepers 365 days a year to provide support and accommodation. We welcome this new funding which will strengthen those efforts to ensure everyone has access to the vaccine and other measures to keep safe against COVID-19. There are a myriad of reasons why people become rough sleepers and our rough sleepers team go out on the streets to work with them to find the best solution and a safe place to stay. We will now discuss with partners how we can most effectively spend this new funding to ensure that work has the greatest positive impact."
If people see someone on the streets they can contact Streetlink which connects rough sleepers with local services that can support them.