People in Portsmouth who have no permanent address can now open a bank account thanks to a new partnership between Portsmouth City Council and Shelter.
The agreement means that anyone at the council who is supporting someone with no fixed abode can set up an account on their behalf, allowing them access to benefits such as universal credit, pension credit, personal independence payments and child benefit.
The partnership was set up by the council’s Housing Needs Advice and Support team, who support homeless people in the city to find permanent accommodation.
The council already provides a range of services in Portsmouth to help support rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness, including a day service and a rough sleeping pathway which has 105 units of supported temporary accommodation. There is a team of people who go out in Portsmouth every day and help people who are rough sleeping, including supporting them to access accommodation.
Cllr Darren Sanders, cabinet member for Housing and Tackling Homelessness, said, “We know not having a bank account means homeless people cannot access many of the things they need to help them lead the brighter future they want. This deal with Shelter will change lives and it shows – yet again – the city’s commitment to tackling homelessness.”
Robert Bloomer, Break the Cycle relationship manager at Shelter, said: “The “Breaking the Cycle” programme at Shelter is a brilliant initiative to help support people with no fixed address to get a bank account. We know that without basic banking facilities, people are often left struggling to receive income, pay bills and even get accommodation. Our focus has been to work with financial institutions to help people in these situations and provide them with the support they need to get access to banking. So far we have managed to help over 4000 people across the UK with their banking needs and with the support of the banking industry – we hope to be able to help many more as this initiative grows.”
If you see someone that you think needs help you can go to the street link website, www.streetlink.org.uk, and let us know where they are.