New project to transform the lives of homeless Rugbeians is given the go-ahead - here's how it will work

Rugbeians affected by homelessness will be given support to find a good job and secure accommodation

Rugby Town Hall.

An innovative project with the potential to transform lives is to be set-up across Rugby

The scheme will use crowdfunding to get up to 50 homeless people or those at risk of homelessness into training and employment.

Cllr Seb Lowe (Con, Coton and Boughton), the leader of Rugby Borough Council, praised the pilot scheme when it was approved at this week’s July 20 full council meeting.

He said: “This project has the potential to genuinely transform lives - and I don’t use the phrase lightly. It demonstrates a close collaboration between the communities and homes function here and public health to support residents who are, or who are at risk of being homeless or sleeping rough.

“The proposals centre around supporting people into training and into meaningful employment. It will be cost neutral utilising a proportion of the public health funding awarded to the council and will support upto 50 homeless or potentially homeless people into work and out of temporary accommodation.

“Can I also draw your attention to the innovative use of a crowdfunding platform to engage the public and corporate investors which we know has worked extremely well elsewhere.”

Under the project, those taking part will be supported with a tailored package which could include appropriate training, finding a job, CV and interview training, finding alternative accommodation, childcare and travel costs, and support for the first 26 weeks in work.

The programme also offers the opportunity to free up more council accommodation by reducing the need to use council housing for temporary accommodation.

Michelle Dickson, the council’s chief officer for communities and homes, said: “This project is a unique and innovative way to support Rugby’s homeless and those at risk of homelessness into training and meaningful employment.

“This model won’t be suitable for all residents affected by homelessness, but for those that are, this scheme will be motivating and rewarding, and has the potential to lead to a radical change in their life opportunities.”

The council will work with BEAM - a London-based social enterprise - as a partner and the scheme could be up and running within three months.

Ms Dickson added: “BEAM has a proven record of supporting homeless residents in ways that suit them, and in attracting corporate and public investment to fund their costs.”