THE success of projects to help rough sleepers means there is only one known person sleeping on the streets of Bury, councillors have heard.

An increase in support for homeless people through two schemes, A Bed for Every Night (ABEN) and the Stepping Stones emergency accommodation means the current number of recorded rough sleepers in Bury borough is around 40, all bar one of whom currently find shelter in supported accommodation.

A housing update to Bury Council’s scrutiny committee said: “Due to the success of the new provision and funding we currently have only one known rough sleeper actually on the streets, with whom the outreach service are working closely with to engage and move into appropriate supported accommodation.

“Funding has been invested in an independent partner, Stepping Stones, to provide 15-bed spaces plus support to make emergency provision.

“Greater Manchester Combined Authority funding for A Bed for Every Night also provides a further 25 supported bed spaces for a total of 40 individual accommodation units with support.

“The team has been very successful in moving rough sleepers into more secure, longer-term accommodation, despite the increase in caseloads.

“Longer term strategic responses are also being developed through the Bury Homeless Partnership including the establishment of an ethical lettings agency via the Greater Manchester Let Us

scheme with two properties specifically designated for our rough sleepers with more in the pipeline for the future.”

Officials at Bury Council say they have supported 55 former rough sleepers into settled housing since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bury Homeless Partnership works to find and support rough sleepers, hoping to get them off the streets for good.

During the pandemic the council saw a significant rise in the number of rough sleepers within the borough.

Through their work people offered a safe place to sleep with support and food and provided with help to build a better life away from the streets.

Cllr Clare Cummins, cabinet member for housing services, said: “We do still have a small number of rough sleepers that we are continuing to engage with and provide outreach support, but due to the success of our multi-agency approach, most are now safe in our supported emergency accommodation.”

Rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness that is typically associated with sleeping outside, but also refers to sleeping in a place not designated for living such as an empty building or a car.

Cllr Cummins added: “Through successful bids for funding, we have the resources and extra capacity we need to support and accommodate all rough sleepers in the borough.

“This is especially important as we enter the season of colder, potentially life-threatening weather.

“No-one should have to sleep rough in Bury – if you see someone you are concerned about, please tell us so that vulnerable people can be helped to stay safe and off our streets.”