Exeter, Devon UK • May 18, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home NewsLocal News Devon County Council leans towards scrapping homelessness prevention fund

Devon County Council leans towards scrapping homelessness prevention fund

Editor-in-Chief, Jamie Speka, covers the Devon County Council as it leans towards scrapping homeless prevention funds
5 mins read
Written by

Devon County Council leans towards scrapping homelessness prevention fund

O’Dea via Wikicommons

Editor-in-Chief, Jamie Speka, covers the Devon County Council as it leans towards scrapping homeless prevention funds.

Following a Devon County Council meeting this week, Conservative Cllr James McInnes made clear his plans to scrap Devon’s £1.5 million contribution to homeless prevention.

Cllr McInnes expresses that “[It’s] money that we can’t afford,” and that “the only way we could afford it would be [to] take it away from the statutory services which we have a responsibility for. And as cabinet member for adult services, I’m not prepared to do that.”

The £1.5 million provide monetary support to multiple occupancy hostels in Exeter, East Devon, Torridge and North Devon. Clrr McInnes states “There is a risk that hostels may close, [yet] it’s not an inevitability.”

There is a risk that hostels may close, [yet] it’s not an inevitability.

He explains in a response to a question from Labour Group Leader Carol Whitton that “Although we do not fund accommodation, in identifying the risk of hostels closing, we have subsequently had informed conversations about how that risk can be averted or managed, including finding alternative funding options or repurposing or reconfiguring existing provision.”

This comes at a time when an estimated 3,700 people are reported as homeless in Devon and Cornwall based on the latest available statistics.

Further, local charities such as YMCA Exeter expects detriments to vulnerable young adults. Through the current support package, Devon County Council contributes £35 per person, per week to YMCA Exeter for over 100 young people every year to receive care. Lucy Pieterse, the public relations coordinator for YMCA Exeter, comments for Exeposé in regards to Clrr McInnes claims of unaffordable costs that “If YMCA Exeter is removed from providing [our] care, those same young adults will need to seek an Adult Social Care Package from Devon County Council which would increase the cost to the Adult Social Care budget by over £924,000.”

YMCA Exeter provides well-being support through our Community Connecting programme to University of Exeter students

Pieterse speaks to the impact this could have on the University of Exeter students. “YMCA Exeter provides well-being support through our Community Connecting programme to University of Exeter students” she explains. “Students can self-refer and receive tailored, one-to-one sessions with experienced practitioners helping to address social, emotional or practical needs. 25% of the young people YMCA Exeter works with through the programme are University of Exeter students.”

If DCC funding is removed, Pieterse believes that services like Community Connecting would have to be cut. She also mentions that young people who want to go to University and use Exeter YMCA’s services to support their journey into further academia, may “slip through the net” if funding cuts go ahead.

A decision is expected to be made at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, August 23.

You may also like

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign Up for Our Newsletter