Charity officials in Lynn have hailed a grant of more than £100,000 which they say will help them provide greater support to homeless people.
The Purfleet Trust is to receive £106,277 from Homeless Link, a body for people who work with rough sleepers in England.
And Trust bosses said the cash, which will come from the Government, was a vital boost to their work amid the current freezing weather and a rise in the number of people sleeping rough in the town.
Chief executive Paula Hall said: “We are really pleased to be awarded this grant, especially as Lynn is currently experiencing an increase in the number of people presenting as homeless after nearly a decade of falling numbers.”
The trust estimates that as many as 12 people are currently sleeping rough in Lynn at any one time.
Although the trust, which is based at St Ann’s Fort opposite True’s Yard, works with the authorities to try to help homeless people find shelter, it does not offer its own overnight accommodation.
However, the grant will enable staff to stay open later in the evenings, until around 9pm, and offer services on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Mrs Hall said that will help to reduce the time people have to spend on the streets and give them quicker access to the services they need.
“This in turn will help us reduce the impact of rough sleeping on our community.”
The money will also help the Trust to liaise with groups in other parts of the country if people from outside the Lynn area request support in the town.
Meanwhile, members of the public are also being given the chance to help reduce the number of people sleeping rough by contacting Streetlink, an England-wide hotline and website.
To help rough sleepers in Lynn, people are asked to go to www.streetlink.org.uk or phone 0300 500 0914.
A Streetlink spokesman said: “The telephone line worker will ask for information regarding the location of the person sleeping rough in order to assist the local authority or a local homeless service to find the person. This is the minimum amount of information required to generate a report.
“However, both the website and call centre give opportunities for the caller to provide additional information, for example what the person looks like and if they have any particular concerns.”
Details can then be sent to West Norfolk Council which could help connect the homeless person to services and support.
Officials say the aim of the project is to ensure that nobody should have to spend a second night sleeping on the streets.
The Purfleet Trust’s grant is one of 22 ranging from £89,000 to £200,000 awarded to homeless charities across the country.
The Trust offers advice to help people find accommodation, a day centre providing a daily hot meal and training in essential life skills.