Cabinet members approved (Thursday 23 February) Herefordshire Council’s continued response to homelessness in the county.

Project Brave began as a new way of dealing with homelessness and rough sleeping during the recent covid pandemic, when government notified councils to bring ‘everyone-in’ from the streets. In addition, this multi-agency partnership set out to create solutions for very vulnerable people at risk from substance use, mental health, criminal experience and exploitation. It zeroes in on those who aren’t eligible for, or fall between the cracks of, various statutory services.

Since 2020, the project has evolved into an ambitious plan to end high-risk homelessness in Herefordshire and help former homeless people into new accommodation and with ongoing support.

It recognises that homeless people’s needs are often complex. By working with partner organisations, it aims to provide personalised services to overcome the failings of historic services and systems.

Project Brave achievements

Since the project began, the council has secured over £520,000 in government funding to help buy 12 properties to accommodate rough sleepers.

A further £5.6 million is being used to reshape our rough sleeping outreach team and drug and alcohol services as well as the way community, voluntary and charitable sectors work in this area.

The project has also helped provide more emergency accommodation, delivered cold weather accommodation and opened a new community hub to enable partner organisations deliver services to those affected. It’s also given over 300 people at risk of rough sleeping a warm, safe place to access services and live.

Councillor Ange Tyler, cabinet member for housing, regulatory services and community, says:

It’s difficult to imagine how those sleeping rough are coping. Living on the streets can be dangerous, it causes serious health issues and it badly affects people’s wellbeing. We really must do all we can to end rough sleeping in Herefordshire. Project Brave is our answer to this and I welcome its continuation and wish everyone involved every success.”