In June 2018 Bedford Borough Council was successful in bidding for government funding to deliver a number of initiatives to reduce rough sleeping. These can be summarised as follows:
- 6 additional outreach workers employed through SMART CJS
- 32 units of accommodation for rough sleepers to move into, and be supported by the outreach team to maintain their tenancies
- A Rough Sleeper Co-Ordinator to manage the project
- 10 Emergency Winter Beds available for rough sleepers based at the Salvation Army Outreach Centre and managed by SMART – open from the 1st November to the 31st March. Additional Cold Weather Funding was granted in December by the government which extended this provision to 20 beds and enabled further late-night outreach workers.
- 8 extra bed spaces for European Nationals with no benefit entitlement, and support to get them into employment – managed by the King’s Arms Project
So far, 13 rough sleepers have been housed directly through these initiatives and the outreach team are seeing incredible, life-changing results. In addition a further 8 European Nationals have moved from the streets into accommodation and are accessing employment training and support. The Winter Beds are offering shelter during the coldest months of the year to people who would otherwise be on the streets. This has all been achieved through partnership and a collaborative desire to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our Borough.
Further government funding is expected to be available to continue all the initiatives through to March 2020.
We are often contacted by people who don’t know where to go to for help. We have produced these information sheets to give you the basics, but please feel free to contact the services directly for more details. Please see the information sheets below which you can download or print off.
Did you know, you can still register to vote if you are homeless? Please see the following document for details of how to register
News & Information
This section will be updated regularly with events & features. Please email us if you have an event you would like us to promote here.
The Public Health Team at Bedford Borough Council have produced an insighful and informative report on health in homelessness – read it here.
Want to help rough sleepers in Bedford this winter? Before you start collecting things that they might not need, take a look at our helpful list below. And please remember, the absolute BEST thing you can do is donate your time or your money to one of the front-line services, like the King’s Arms Project or Smart Prebend Centre. Their contact details are in our directory.