11 rough sleepers offered rooms in new homeless complex

Inside the new complex in Bury St Edmunds

The new service in Bury St Edmunds will home 11 rough sleepers - Credit: Sanctuary Supported Living

A new support service to help rough sleepers "break the cycle of repeat homelessness" has opened in Bury St Edmunds. 

The scheme provides accommodation and personalised healthcare for vulnerable adults in the area who had previously been sleeping rough. 

Sanctuary Supported Living, in partnership with West Suffolk Council, was awarded a £100,000 capital grant from Homes England to completely refurbish a building and run the service until 2024. 

Following renovation of the building, the scheme now offers a modern environment with fully furnished en-suite bedrooms and communal facilities for up to 11 adults.

People will be referred to the scheme, and a specialist support team will be based at the building, which is close to the town centre, 24/7. 

Lee Glading, area service manager for Sanctuary, said the scheme will help rough sleepers work towards living an independent life.  

“Right now, it’s more important than ever to support people who have experienced homelessness," he said. 

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"At this service, once people have access to the healthcare they need, our specialist team can support them to move forward and rebuild their lives.

"We believe that by treating people with dignity and giving them a safe place to live, they will be better enabled to take steps to break the cycle of repeat homelessness and work towards living a fulfilled and independent life.”

Sara Mildmay-White, deputy leader of West Suffolk Council. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Sara Mildmay-White, cabinet member for housing - Credit: Archant

Sara Mildmay-White, cabinet member for housing at West Suffolk Council, said: “We have been working for a number of years to reduce rough sleeping in West Suffolk, investing in as well as securing government funds for different types of accommodation and support needs.

"Our whole approach is about helping people rebuild their lives. This initiative to provide personalised healthcare is very much part of that ethos and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Sanctuary Supported Living to offer this new service.”

Dave Shaw, head of growth and business development at Sanctuary Supported Living, added: “Ongoing, holistic support is critical in making a real difference to people’s lives.

"When the Covid-19 pandemic began, around 15,000 people who were sleeping rough were given emergency accommodation as part of the government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative.

"This programme is designed to ensure that people continue to be supported and don’t return to rough sleeping.

"We’re delighted to be working with West Suffolk Council at our new service, which is set to achieve just that.”

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