Government has announced £46m fund to provide coordinated help for some of the most vulnerable people in society.

St Mungo’s has welcomed the announcement of a new £46m initiative made by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government today (10 December) which aims to provide more effective and coordinated support for some of society’s most vulnerable people.

The programme, part of the Government’s Shared Outcomes Fund initiative, will be called Changing Futures: changing systems to support adults experiencing multiple disadvantages.

The scheme’s prospectus invites local authorities to bid for a share of the funding to enable them to better support people who face multiple challenges including homelessness, substance use issues, mental illness, domestic abuse, as well as contact with the criminal justice system.

Councils, health bodies, the police, probation services, voluntary and community sector organisations will form partnerships to deliver local change. Reacting to the news Dominic Williamson, St Mungo’s Executive Director of Strategy and Policy, said:

“Many of our clients experience several challenges on top of their homelessness and yet too often public services are designed to address one problem at a time.

“People with substance use issues, mental illness and homelessness particularly struggle to get effective help as the services they need report to different parts of central and local government.

“This very welcome initiative builds on work by the National Lottery’s Fulfilling Lives programme, the Making Every Adult Matter partnership, Revolving Doors Agency and others; and will support the pilot areas to bring services together in ways that change lives for the better.

“Critically, the prospectus requires areas to bring senior local leaders from councils, police, NHS and other public services together to support the change at the frontline. This aspect has often been missing in previous efforts to make progress on this issue and will help unblock some of the barriers to joint working.

“Equally, the involvement of a wide range of Government departments at national level will provide the impetus for policy change which can underpin local efforts.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 21 January 2021.