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Working together to help our homeless

A new and improved approach to homelessness is helping to keep thousands of residents off the streets of Wigan.

The approach, which sees Wigan Council working more closely with the voluntary and private sector, is helping to deliver more effective support and rehabilitation for the borough’s homeless and rough sleepers by identifying and supporting those at risk as early as possible to prevent them reaching crisis point.

Councillor Terry Halliwell, cabinet member for housing and welfare, has been leading the reforms.

He said: “Everybody should be given the opportunity to live independently and we are committed to helping our residents have access to the right home at the right time.

“Over the last four years, the number of prevented homelessness cases increased by 59 per cent and last year alone, almost 5,000 potential homeless cases were prevented.

“We have also made significant investments to help support homeless services through The Deal for Communities Investment Fund and will continue to work with providers to deliver a cohesive approach so services can work together to better understand peoples circumstances and their requirements.

“Part of this understanding will be gathered by Homeless Champions, who we are looking to recruit by the end of January. They will support our town centre work during the day by checking in with people on our streets.”

In addition to the current day time programmes offered by a number of groups, the new approach will implement a borough wide outreach provision, which will operate out of hours and at weekends. Two rehabilitation and support hubs will also be created, bringing together all relevant services to help rough sleepers.

The Leigh hub, based at Leigh Court House, will be operational at the end of January 2018 and the Wigan hub will be operational in summer 2018.

There will be emergency access beds available for the homeless and borough-wide services will be available seven days a week.

If you see a homeless person on the streets, please email roughsleep@wigan.gov.uk with as much information as possible (including their location) and our officers will investigate. You will also receive an update on the situation.

Those who find themselves on the streets can also ring our out of hour’s service on: 01942 828777

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