"The project demonstrates the positive, lasting changes that can be achieved when communities come together in mutual aid"Varsity

It Takes a City, a homelessness partnership in Cambridge, has received government funding which it will use to accommodate at-risk rough sleepers over the winter months.

The funds come from the Homelessness Winter Transformation Fund 2021/22, supported by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, Housing Justice and Homeless Link.

The partnership has used the funding, alongside City Council resources to secure a lease on a facility to provide “privacy, dignity and safety” for rough sleepers. The facility, which includes 20 en-suite rooms, will open from November through to the end of March 2022, on a 24/7 basis.

The new funding provides an “opportunity”, according to the partnership, to try a different approach to the ‘communal floors’ model.

It Takes a City will also provide welfare, resettlement support, practical help, and meals.

The partnership was a key operating partner last winter at Masters House, which provided emergency accommodation during extreme weather.

It Takes a City described that Masters House “demonstrated the power of partnerships and how positive outcomes can be achieved for those on the journey from street to home. The [new] project again demonstrates the positive, lasting changes that can be achieved when communities come together in mutual aid.”

Mike Todd-Jones, Executive Councillor for Housing said that the project “marks a significant step-up in the level and quality of winter provision for Cambridge rough sleepers.”

“Building on last year’s successful ‘Everyone In’ campaign”, he added, “which saw all Cambridge rough sleepers offered a place where they can be safe from Covid, the Crossways project will run continuously throughout the winter, providing all guests with a safe and warm room of their own.”

Chris Jenkins, Chair of It Takes a City said in a statement: “It Takes a City is delighted to work once again with Cambridge City Council to provide additional capacity for rough sleepers during the coming winter.”

He continued: “Building on the partnerships established in the “Everyone In” project from March 2020, our aim is not just to keep people safe but to help them move on into the right accommodation, so that everyone has somewhere to call home.”