Homelessness: Charities

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 18th September 2020.

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Photo of Tom Hunt Tom Hunt Conservative, Ipswich

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support his Department is providing to local homeless charities during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Charities, and the thousands of people who volunteer with them, make a real difference to vulnerable people’s lives. We all need to work together to break the homelessness cycle and we are committed to drawing on as much expertise and experience as we can. Many of the projects we fund involve joint working with voluntary organisations as delivery partners, and in response to Covid-19 we have worked in partnership with the voluntary sector and faith and community groups.

MHCLG announced £6 million of emergency funding to provide relief for frontline homelessness charitable organisations who are directly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. This is part of a £750 million package of government support for UK charities who may have been impacted by the pandemic. This Covid-19 Homelessness Response Fund was delivered by Homeless Link and applications closed on Wednesday 27 May.

Following a successful bidding process, over 130 charities across England benefitted from the £6 million emergency Fund. Further detail regarding the organisations who have been funded can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/charities-to-benefit-from-support-for-rough-sleepers-during-pandemic.

The Department also funds work to support a wide range of the homelessness sector – including voluntary organisations and independent providers of learning:

  • Homeless Link are funded £800,000 to support the work of the single homelessness sector. This includes a leadership programme for leaders and managers of single homelessness services; the provision of practical support for frontline workers; maintaining the Homeless England database; and a research programme.
  • The National Homelessness Advice Service (NHAS), which is run by Shelter, is funded by MHCLG to provide free training and expert advice to local authority and public authority staff including those with a duty to refer. For 2020/21 the Department has committed £1.95 million of grant funding to NHAS to ensure that frontline staff have the right skills and legal knowledge effectively to support individuals at risk of homelessness or rough sleeping.
  • MHCLG has funded StreetLink, a service run by Homeless Link and St Mungo’s, since its inception in 2012.
  • In 2020/21 MHCLG provided £200,000 of grant funding to Housing Justice. This fund works to equip faith and community night shelters to develop good practice and to help faith and community groups to be more coordinated and linked-in with other homelessness provision (statutory, commissioned and other third sector) and provide a route away from the street.

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