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SMART CJS Wins Winter Homelessness Funding

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Bedford-based charity, SMART CJS, has announced that it has successfully bid for additional funds for helping rough sleepers over the Winter period. The Winter Transformation Fund grant, comes courtesy of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, Homeless Link and Housing Justice and was confirmed earlier this month. This is a fund created to enable community and faith groups to provide winter services for people sleeping rough in 2021/22.

Picture: Half of the SMART CJS Board of Trustees and Senior Management Team delighted at the news of securing the Winter Transformation Fund. Back row (L-R) Ralph Dennison, Dave Rawcliffe, Chantal Thomas & Jono Poon. Middle row (L-R) Jodie McMinn and Jen Robus, Senior Managers and centre, Anita McCallum, CEO.

Jodie McMinn, Business Development & Transformation Manager for SMART CJS reacted to the news by saying: “We are delighted to get this injection of vital money to add to the existing emergency provision that Bedford Borough Council funds via central Government. The additional funding will allow us to meet the increased demand for beds we anticipate this Winter, due to the financial impact of the pandemic and lift on the evictions ban. Locally, we are already seeing evidence of an increase in referrals, so to have these funds is really welcome news.”

The grant will pay for accommodation and staff, supporting an estimated 30 additional people up until the end of March 2022. This period is often accompanied by spells of extremely cold weather, so is greatly needed.

“We are so pleased that there will be more certainty and capacity for emergency accommodation to help those facing homelessness this Winter, and that they will be housed in independent units. We also thank Bedford Borough Council for supporting our bid,” adds Anita McCallum, CEO, SMART CJS.

“Having this type of accommodation is essential as the situation is uncertain as to the trajectory of the pandemic and so keeping this vulnerable section of our community protected and with access to health and mental health services is both sensible and compassionate.”

Alongside its funded work, any monies kindly donated to SMART CJS as a one-off or by direct debit, as well as donated goods, will continue to be used to:

  • Support the homeless and rough sleepers with food, toiletries and access to health, mental health, housing and welfare & benefits;
  • Assist those who have made positive changes in their lives and need help with making the transition to new, stable accommodation (e.g. food, furniture, clothes etc).

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