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Dozens of people steered away from streets in drive to reduce homelessness, West Norfolk Council report reveals

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Scores of West Norfolk people who faced the prospect of homelessness were helped towards permanent accommodation during the Covid crisis, it was revealed this week.

A report to be presented to the authority’s environment and community panel next Tuesday, November 9, said a total of 118 people at risk of sleeping rough were moved into emergency accommodation during the year to March this year.

The number climbed from an initial 41 supported under the Everybody In initiative set up in response to the coronavirus crisis.

More than 100 people were helped away from homelessness in West Norfolk during the year to the end of March.
More than 100 people were helped away from homelessness in West Norfolk during the year to the end of March.

But the report also says the majority of people who were supported have since been “re-settled”.

And Sam Sandell, the authority’s cabinet member for people and communities, said the efforts of council staff and other agencies were about more than just a home.

She said: “It was also about offering additional support and resources that could make a difference.

“This was a huge effort and I am grateful for everyone who played a role in helping either by offering accommodation or support at such a difficult time.

“We remain thoroughly committed to offering significant support for people who find themselves homeless and helping people to get off the streets and into warm, safe accommodation.”

The council is working with partners to help find long-term solutions for homelessness, including the provision of 23 supported living flats in Lynn, in conjunction with the Broadland Housing Association.

Many of the people supported during the Covid crisis have also secured permanent accommodation with the support of Freebridge Community Housing.

And the Purfleet Trust’s Housing Related Support team is currently helping 40 people, many of whom have complex needs, towards being able to live independently with council funding.

Its chief executive, Paula Hall, said: “Without this support we know that a significant number of people would feel unable to manage their tenancy with a real risk of becoming homeless again and possibly returning to the streets.

“We are all working together to prevent this from happening.”

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