A CASH boost of £91,000 is being pumped into the council's efforts to help end rough sleeping in the borough.

The money, donated by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, is to go towards Wokingham Borough Council's new strategies to combat homelessness.

The plan includes setting up a street outreach programme in order to provide accommodation where appropriate, signpost access to health professionals, benefits advisors and if necessary signpost access to drug or alcohol dependency support.

Last year, council members identified 10 rough sleepers however it is understood there may be more.

Currently there is a pilot of a night shelter, run by Pilgrim Hearts, up until the end of this month and there is a food bank in Wokingham town centre.

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John Kaiser, executive member for finance and housing, said: "Having a home should be a basic human right.

"That’s why we at the council prioritise so highly tackling homelessness and ending rough sleeping.

"Homelessness can have long term consequences for those affected.

"As a result, reducing homelessness and rough sleeping is a key priority for the council.

"Receiving this award is excellent news! It will help fund our new rough sleeping initiative for a full year and we will have the opportunity to apply again for next year.

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"The impacts of homelessness can be devastating for individuals and families.

"Homelessness can affect everything - health, education and employment.

"This programme is another step towards ending rough sleeping and homelessness in Wokingham borough."

If you are homeless or rough sleeping you can contact Wokingham Borough Council for help either by visiting the head offices in Shute End, Wokingham, or email housing.needs@wokingham.gov.uk or calling 0118 974 6000

If you know of someone who is homeless or rough-sleeping, you can let the council know by sending an alert to streetlink.org.uk