FALMOUTH is among the towns that could host a roving rough sleeper hub under a new scheme.

Cornwall Housing is launching four initiatives to help tackle rough sleeping in Cornwall, thanks to a grant of nearly £1 million secured by Cornwall Council from central government, and hiring more than 20 new staff to help run them.

Andrew Mitchell, portfolio holder for housing at Cornwall Council, said: “The number of rough sleepers continues to fall in Cornwall, from 99 in 2016 to 53 today.

"In April of this year 18 people were supported off the streets through a range of existing projects funded by Cornwall Council, Cornwall Housing and central government’s rough sleeper initiative.

"Unfortunately new rough sleepers, and former rough sleepers who have been unable to stay in the accommodation provided, still end up on the streets each month.

"It’s clear we need to be more creative in providing solutions that will reach more people and help those we help to stay off the streets for good."

The new money will fund:

• A roving ‘somewhere safe to stay’ hub that can quickly assess rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping to they can be moved to a night shelter, short-term accommodation, supported housing or the private rented sector. The hub will open in Truro on July 29 and then move location every six weeks to ensure it can cover all the rough sleeping hot spots in Cornwall. Sites being explored are Penzance, Falmouth, St Austell, Newquay and Liskeard.

• Support for rough sleepers who are moving into their own homes, often for the first time. The support will help them learn the skills, like budgeting, cooking and occupying their time, necessary to stay in their own homes.

• More in-depth support for those who have multiple and complex needs such as addiction and severe and enduring mental health problems to help them get off the streets – and stay off. This ‘navigator’ service will include a single point of contact who co-ordinate support, across multiple agencies, like access to healthcare and treatment services, for each homeless person. Cornwall Housing will also work with Groundswell to train formerly homeless people to become peer mentors to those in need.

• Expanding the Cornwall Housing private lettings team into the north and east of the county to help move single people and childless couples who have experienced homelessness to move on from supported housing into properties and help them stay there.

Nick Cross, managing director at Cornwall Housing, said: “The needs of rough sleepers are often complex and vary from person to person, so there’s not a single solution that works for everyone. It’s important, too, that we do as much as we can to help prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

"Thanks to the government funding secured by Cornwall Council we’ll be able to reach more people and intervene at an earlier stage to help further reduce the number of rough sleepers in the county.”

If you are rough sleeping or see someone sleeping rough, can contact Streetlink through its website, www.streetlink.org.uk, or by calling 0300 500 0914 – or 999 if urgent medical assistance is needed.

Those sleeping rough can also contact the Cornwall Housing Options Team on 0300 1234 161 or contact the council’s information service, formerly called One Stop Shop.