Local charities Freedom Community Alliance and Encompass Southwest have been awarded funds as part of a £6 million Government scheme for charities who support vulnerable rough sleepers.
A total of 132 charities across England will have access to the funding meaning they can continue to support those experiencing homelessness during coronavirus and beyond.
This includes providing beds for those who need it as well as the specialist physical and mental health help they need to recover from life on the streets.
The funding is part of a £750 million package of government support for UK charities who may have been impacted by the pandemic, £360 million of which is dedicated to offering a lifeline to charities working to end homelessness.
Freedom Community Alliance, awarded £25,000, provide a range of support services for homeless people, but also those suffering from addiction issues, people with poor physical and mental health, debt and poverty and those who simply want to improve their health or improve their life skills.
Encompass Southwest, who have been awarded £18,000, support rough sleepers with some of the most complex needs in North Devon, as well as young people aged 14 to 21 who are at risk of rough sleeping or homelessness.
Philip Noall, Chief Executive of Freedom Community Alliance said:
This funding has been awarded to help alleviate the financial impact of COVID 19 on our organisation. During the pandemic we have had to reconfigure many of our services to meet the needs of rough sleepers locally and we have done this in close partnership and liaison with our colleagues at North Devon Council.
Since lockdown in March, The Freedom Centre has operated as a Command Centre for the work with rough sleepers locally and this has helped facilitate an integrated multi-agency response during the pandemic. However, the financial impact of COVID 19 has been significant and therefore we are very grateful for the support from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government at this difficult time.
Many charities across the country will be feeling the impact of COVID 19 and we are not immune from this. Whilst costs may not have increased our Income has been affected and this grant has been provided to protect the charities essential services over the coming months.
Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon, said:
I am delighted that both Encompass Southwest and Freedom Community Alliance have been awarded this funding to support their essential work helping the some of the most vulnerable in North Devon.
Both charities are more than deserving of this support and I was fortunate enough to learn about some of the work being done for our community during my visit to the Freedom Community Alliance back in February.
Thank you to those who dedicate their time to both these charities. I very much hope that with this funding we can see a permanent reduction in homelessness in North Devon as we move out of lockdown.
Image: Selaine meeting with Philip Noall during a visit to the Freedom Centre in February.