The Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, Eddie Hughes has announced a range of support for local authorities to ensure that those who sleep rough have easy access to vaccinations. An additional £28 million funding package will be provided to support all local authorities in England with this initiative in light of the emerging Omicron variant. Watford Borough Council will receive more than £46,000 and Three Rivers is in line to receive £11,500 to increase vaccination rates.
The government has already provided significant funding for people sleeping rough throughout the pandemic, including over £202 million for the Rough Sleeping Initiative and £433 million to deliver 6,000 move-on homes. Rough sleeping fell by 37% last year. The Spending Review committed a further £2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years to build on this progress. Across the period 2022/23 Watford will receive more than £636,000 in government funding, and £289,000 has been earmarked for Three Rivers District Council.
Dean commented, 'I have been working with homeless organisations in Watford since being elected. I would like to pay tribute to the amazing volunteer groups who have worked tirelessly providing an array of support. The ongoing funding from the Government has really helped aid their invaluable work, and I am really pleased that additional funding has been announced.
Dean continued, 'Offering targeted mobile vaccination units to areas where there are several rough sleepers present is such a positive move. It will help to offer protection to some of our most vulnerable citizens and increase the number of people having the vaccine.”