Worcestershire councils have awarded a contract to support people at risk of homelessness to Caring for Communities and People (CCP).
Funding for the county's single person's and childless couple's homeless prevention service will rise to £301,500 per annum – an increase over the previous level of £240,000 per annum.
The county-wide service has been commissioned by district councils across Worcestershire, and will be jointly funded and managed by Worcestershire County Council and local district councils.
"Prior to awarding this contract we listened carefully to the views of local people who are or have been homeless, as well as professionals and volunteers who work in the front line to prevent homelessness," said Cllr Lynn Denham, Vice Chair of Worcester City Council's Communities Committee.
"This county-wide service focuses firmly on early intervention to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. It's important to emphasise that Worcestershire councils already fund other services which offer intensive support to existing rough sleepers, separate to this contract."
A new centre for rough sleepers will open in September at the Salvation Army's base in The Trinity, following a separate award to Worcester of £242,601 from central government's "Somewhere Safe to Stay" fund. It will provide a new year-round night shelter with support workers on-site 24 hours a day working, to give rapid and intensive support to help people off the streets and into accommodation.
Maggs Day Centre also runs an outreach service supported by the City Council – this team proactively looks for, engages with and supports rough sleepers across Worcestershire.
The new two-year contract with CCP will run from 1 October 2019 to the end of September 2021. The contract will be governed and managed by a county-wide group of officers.
The new single person's and childless couple's homeless prevention service will see the number of Emergency Shelters for rough sleepers across Worcestershire rise from two to five.
The Shelters will be based in Worcester, Evesham, Kidderminster, Malvern and Redditch, providing more localised assistance across the county. CCP will open the Shelters on any night when the temperature is predicted to fall to zero or below, in line with Worcestershire's Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).