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The council has purchased 3 former student accommodations in the city to support rough sleepers.

The council has been leasing the unused accommodation blocks on Elm Grove and St Michael’s Road since September 2020. 110 people can be accommodated across the three blocks.

The council’s focus is to help rough sleepers with a local connection and provide enough accommodation to help Portsmouth people who may be forced to sleep on the streets in the coming months.

Residents have their own rooms and access to live-in support from homeless charities The Society of St James and Two Saints. There is access to specialist help for those with substance misuse issues and support to help people move towards work or education and long-term accommodation.

Anyone joining the rough sleeper pathway is assessed according to their current needs. Support will be focussed around the individual and their ability to sustain a tenancy in settled accommodation.

The properties are receiving £4.5m of Government funding over 3 years to provide support in the accommodation.

Councillor Darren Sanders, Cabinet Member for Housing and Preventing Homelessness said: “This is excellent news and yet another vote of confidence in Portsmouth’s plan to end rough sleeping for good.

“It is clear from listening to rough sleepers that they want support, not just a place to live, and that is what this accommodation offers. Residents will continue to have ample support from our excellent partners Two Saints and The Society of St James and of course, Portsmouth City Council.

“The properties will provide safe, secure accommodation for those who want it and will focus on moving them through the pathway to more permanent accommodation.

“I’d like to thank everybody involved in providing a safe space for rough sleepers during the coronavirus pandemic.”

The council has outreach services who find rough sleepers and offer them support. But if residents are concerned about someone they think is sleeping rough, they should go to www.streetlink.org.uk and log the details so local agencies can try to connect the person with help available.