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Improved shelter service helps rough sleepers

An expanded winter shelter service for rough sleepers has been hailed a success.

Gosport and Fareham borough councils teamed up this winter to increase the help available at the 101 Gosport Road hostel in Fareham, run by the charity Two Saints.

Instead of simply providing an emergency service, triggered by severe cold snaps, they have made places at the hostel continuously available from mid-December until mid-April.

They have also paid for alterations in the building to create more spaces.

In previous years, the councils have offered rough sleepers places at the hostel during periods of severe cold. If the hostel's spaces were all taken, they have offered beds at local B&Bs.

Now, the councils have each paid for five more places to be created at the hostel, bringing the total in the building to 28. Residents get food, and access to washing and laundry facilities.

The places are available for the whole four months, meaning rough sleepers have a better chance of breaking out of their routine of sleeping on the streets, and staff at the hostel have a better chance of getting to know them and helping them get off the streets permanently.

Cllr Graham Burgess, Chairman of the Community Board at Gosport Borough Council, said: "I'm delighted this expanded service is working well. People sleeping rough are getting a better service and we have a greater opportunity to work with them and meet their long-term needs. It's a great partnership between the two councils and Two Saints."

Cllr Trevor Cartwright, Executive Member for Health and Public Protection at Fareham Borough Council, said: “It’s great to see Fareham and Gosport working together to provide this service for people sleeping rough in the area. It’s more than just a shelter though, it’s about providing those in need with the right support and services, to help change their lives for the better.”

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