Extra cash to house rough sleepers has been unveiled amid calls for a Teesside council to give the homeless a place to stay during lockdown.
The Government has announced a total of £10m will be given to councils nationwide to accommodate those sleeping rough and to make sure they are swiftly registered with a GP to get a covid vaccine.
It comes as Labour councillors in Middlesbrough lodged a motion ahead of next week’s council meeting urging Middlesbrough Council to ensure all homeless people had a place to stay.
Leaders nationally announced a £3.2m package as part of an “everyone in” policy to give 15,000 rough sleepers a place to stay.
Middlesbrough Council helped more than 80 people during the first lockdown last year – and more than 100 are in temporary accommodation at the moment.
The Government says councils will be “asked to reach out again” to those who have previously refused help given rising infection rates and the colder winter months.
Meanwhile, Easterside councillor Craig Wright has lodged a motion to Middlesbrough Council on behalf of his group.
The Labour member said: “We have seen before that when councils, government and charities work together we can defeat homelessness and ensure everyone is safe.
“We now need to move urgently to do this again.
“With the cold temperatures outside and the highly transmissible strain of covid tearing through our communities, protecting vulnerable people has never been so urgent.”
A Middlesbrough Council spokesman said the authority had adopted the “everyone in” approach throughout the pandemic.
“We have been allocated some funding from central government towards housing costs,” he added.
“We have negotiated with our temporary accommodation providers to ensure we have enough accommodation available for individuals, and we also have self-contained units for those who are symptomatic or test positive for covid-19.
“There are still some rough sleepers in Middlesbrough who have been offered accommodation but have refused it – although we do continue to ask and provide regular welfare checks.
“There are also a couple of rough sleepers who have been accommodated by several different providers but have then lost their accommodation due to their behaviour – we continue to offer support where possible.”
Middlesbrough Council will meet next Wednesday at 7pm.