NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Jul 19th, 2019.
Work to prevent prison leavers from Flintshire becoming homeless has been hailed by a senior politician.
The local authority said almost a tenth of people it deals with who have either lost the roof over their heads or are at risk have been released from prison.
As a result, the council has put extra support in place to help prisoners secure accommodation before their release date.
In the last 12 months, a dedicated staff member worked with 42 inmates to reduce the risk of them becoming homeless.
Cllr Dave Hughes, cabinet member for housing, said officers deserved thanks for the assistance provided to vulnerable people.
Speaking at a meeting of the ruling Labour administration held yesterday, (DEL TUESDAY 16 JULY) he said: “Prison leavers represent about 8.7 per cent of homelessness.
“This council has a dedicated worker who will work with prisoners before they are released and reduce the risk of them being homeless on release.
“This work is evidencing some good outcomes.
“There is a significant amount of work taking place to provide support, advice and signposting to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“It is a challenging area of work for those officers and I would like to thank them for the work they are doing.”
A regional strategy group set up to tackle homelessness has also created a dedicated pathway for prison leavers.
Officials said former inmates faced a number of barriers to finding suitable accommodation.
During the meeting, councillors also backed a range of other initiatives to help rough sleepers.
Another key area of focus is supporting people with mental health issues.
In a report presented to the cabinet, Mr Hughes said: “In 2018/19, just over 41 per cent of triages completed indicated the applicant had mental health concerns.
“The service is working with colleagues in adult social services to secure the provision of a mental health worker in the housing solutions team.
“This will help the service to better understand the issues our customers are faced with.”
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).