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7 November 2013, 08:16
Migrant workers, who come to Cambridge and Wisbech but end up homeless, are going to get more help.
£144,000 of government funding has been granted to the health and social care charity Crime Reduction Initivative, which helps rough sleepers. It's one of 30 to get a grant to help prevent rough sleeping and get people off the streets.
There have been significant increases in rough sleeping amongst central and eastern European (CEE) communities in East Anglia, particularly Cambridge and Wisbech. Many of these people are not aware of the support that's available to them and often require extra help to access these services.
CRI's Central and Eastern European Homelessness Project has been awarded the money to support CEE people into accommodation, raise awareness of the services they are entitled to access and reconnect them to their home nations should they wish to return. It will fund interpreters to communicate with migrant workers in their own language.
The grant is part of a £20m Homelessness Transition Fund which is administered by Homeless Link and funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government. To date the fund has given grants to charities and voluntary groups that have assisted over 14,500 people across England.
Welcoming the grant, Vicki Markiewicz, CRI's Deputy Director, said: "CRI are delighted to be awarded this funding as this will help us to support Central and Eastern Europeans who end up rough sleeping when they come to the UK to work.
"We have seen significant increases in the numbers of rough sleepers and those requiring support from Central and Eastern European countries and by having workers who can converse in multiple languages, we are able to provide support to get them off the streets and into accommodation."
Welcoming the news, Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: "I am absolutely clear that homelessness has no place in the 21st century and I am determined that every effort is made to prevent and tackle rough sleeping and get more support to vulnerable people in need.
"That's why I'm pleased to see 30 projects benefit from a share of £3.5million to continue their good work and help people find stable homes and jobs and get their lives back on track.
"This takes the total Homelessness Transition Fund to £20million, which has already helped over 14,000 people facing the prospect of sleeping rough. Today's funding - on top of the £470million we've given councils to help tackle this issue - should help ensure no one spends more than one night on the streets."
For more information or to report someone sleeping rough on the streets call StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or go to www.streetlink.org.uk.