Funding secured for SuperHERO service tackling homelessness

Published: Tuesday, 3rd January 2017

Sevenoaks District Council has successfully secured thousand of pounds of Trailblazer funding to help tackle homelessness in the District.

The £94,500 in funding will help to expand and develop the Council’s Housing, Energy and Retraining Options (HERO) service to a ‘SuperHERO’ service.

The current HERO service has been received national recognition for its work, helping 1,500 people in the last seven years, giving residents a range of advice on issues such as housing problems, debt or mortgage support and further education and employment options.

The extra support will run until March 2019 and enable the Council to recruit an extra member of staff to assist those with physical and learning disabilities, young parents and those on low incomes.

In addition, the Council will be able to work with GP surgeries to provide support and reach more vulnerable clients threatened with homelessness, provide links to health and wellbeing intervention programmes and train volunteers to become ‘SuperHERO Champions’ to provide mentoring and guidance to other families.

Cllr Michelle Lowe, Sevenoaks District Cabinet Member for Health and Leisure, says: “The funding secured is excellent news and is a testament to the incredible work the HERO scheme has already been doing.

“Developing to a SuperHERO service will enable us to deliver an additional 2,250 of targeted advice sessions from January 2017 to March 2019, train volunteers, and use community outreach venues to offer housing advice, employment, debt and crisis support sessions in targeted rural and isolated communities for those most in need.

“The funding will also allow us to work closer with GPs and provide services such as a maternity package covering benefits, housing and debt service to vulnerable parents including those on low income, teenagers and people fleeing domestic violence.

“We were the only Council in Kent to receive funding from the Trailblazer pot, and this is a huge step forwards in helping us continue to support vulnerable people in the District.”