People have spoken to us recently about people asking for money at our Brickhill shopping parades. Homelessness is a serious issue across the UK at the moment but in Bedford we are spending millions of pounds
to ensure that nobody needs to sleep rough. The Borough Council has launched the Rough Sleeper Outreach Service to work with rough sleepers and most importantly those at risk of becoming rough sleepers. The Council provides funding for night shelters to ensure that everybody in Bedford can access a bed for the night.
However it is important to remember that 80% of rough sleepers have some form of mental health problem, others have substance dependency and complex issues and these personal difficulties make it hard for them to accept these services. For this reason we have also invested over £4 million in a newly built complex needs accommodation. This is the first of its kind in Bedford Borough and an innovative approach to offer comprehensive support, to not only get people off the streets but to ensure they stay off the streets and in stable accommodation. The unit is at an advanced stage of construction, and is on course to open later this year in St Mary’s Street. Sadly we have also received reports of individuals being organised and driven from one location in Brickhill to another who are not so deserving. If you wish to be generous then please consider contributing direct to the tremendous charities in Bedford which offer proactive support to help people access safe and stable accommodation, as the best means of supporting those people sleeping rough in Bedford.