New emergency accommodation is set to be created for homeless people in Flintshire.
The county is currently without short term bed spaces for rough sleepers after a pilot scheme was withdrawn at short notice in September.
However, Flintshire Council is now planning to establish a new shelter in Shotton to meet the demand.
The local authority said it hoped to have the facility up and running by next month.
It comes after a senior official said it was now normal to see people sleeping on the streets in the area.
In a report, Neal Cockerton, the council’s chief officer for housing and assets, said: “Rough sleeping is often seen as a major issue only witnessed in our major towns and cities and presents these areas with their unique challenges particularly around the provision of appropriate facilities to deal with numbers of rough sleepers which are often high.
“However, rough sleeping is no longer just an issue in these conurbations, it is now a fairly common sight to see rough sleepers in the communities of Flintshire.
“There is currently no emergency bed provision in Flintshire, this was withdrawn at short notice by our service provider.
“Since the provision ended at the end of September we have been working through options for replacement premises even on the basis that this may be relatively short term (up to two years).
“In relation to this we have identified a building in Shotton which would present the most appropriate accommodation unit and work is underway to understand what we would need to do to fit approximately 50 per cent of this out.
“Having been recently decanted this work would be relatively minimal.”
Mr Cockerton said the aim of the facility would be to provide a number of services under one roof, including drug and alcohol services, medical support, housing assistance and signposting for rehabilitation.
He added the shelter was in a good location where most homeless people would easily be able to gain access.
During a recent six month period, approximately 109 young people who were either homeless or threatened with losing the roof over their heads approached the council for help.
The main reason why 16-24 year olds found themselves in crisis was because their parents were no longer willing to accommodate them.
Mr Cockerton said a number of measures had been put in place to help youngsters faced with homelessness.
He said: “Flintshire’s housing solutions team currently have a youth provision within the service consisting of a dedicated housing solutions officer and a children’s services worker.
“A youth worker was appointed in September 2019 to enable wider support to youth’s that are faced with homelessness and to enable a more joined up service that is seamless for the young person with one point of access and a wide range of support options available to them.”
Cabinet members will be asked to support a number of updates to its local action plan on homelessness at a meeting being held tomorrow .
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).