MEASURES taken in Swindon this winter to prevent and alleviate homelessness will continue into next winter.

Swindon Borough Council secured £194,000 from the government’s Rough Sleeper Initiative for this winter and the plan is to spend it on a winter shelter at the Riverside Centre in Queen’s Drive.

The money is also being used to fund three rough sleeper outreach workers, who are focused on dealing with people on the streets, 12 units of supported Housing First accommodation, specialist mental health training and extra support to help ensure private renters don’t lose their tenancies as well as setting up a day centre to co-ordinate and integrate services in one location.

Councillors on the adults’ health care and housing overview and scrutiny committee were due to be told last night that the council will be able to continue the work because it has secured more funding - £295,000 - which will keep the initiatives going next year.

The report to the committee said that on days of particularly cold weather special measures will be adopted: “The council also voluntarily supports the severe weather emergency protocol established by Homeless Link and adopted by the winter homelessness provision. The council instigates the protocol when temperatures drop to zero degrees or less for three consecutive nights. This means that anyone who is on the streets and homeless that night will be accommodated.

“During the cold weather spells last winter 50 individuals were housed, there was also excellent publicity with just short of 60,000 reaches on the council’s Facebook page on this particular.”