HOMELESS people across Oxfordshire will have extra beds and support to turn to this winter.

A £92,708 award from the Cold Weather Fund will help the county’s city and district councils provide services for people experiencing homelessness, including up to 24 beds across Oxfordshire.

The Cold Weather Fund award will support a number of projects.

A total of £25,000 will go towards accommodation plans for people in Oxford who are rough sleeping or whose needs are hard to meet in a hostel.

The city council said this could help people leaving prison who want to avoid contact with alcohol or drugs, for example.

A £18,750 pot of money will be used to hire a hospital-based housing worker.

The embedded housing worker will advise NHS staff on housing and homelessness prevention.

Accommodation and extra staffing at the winter shelter which opened in Oxford at the beginning of November will be funded by £15,000.

The winter shelter provides up to 13 beds that are open to anyone experiencing homelessness, whether or not they have a local connection or recourse to public funds.

The shelter is currently operating on a temporary basis at Simon House, Paradise Street, and will transfer to the new assessment centre and shelter in Floyds Row in January.

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Access to the winter shelter is through the assessment and outreach team, OxSPOT.

Cherwell District Council is providing five winter beds in Banbury for people with complex needs and £25,000 will help meet running costs.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils are providing six winter beds for people experiencing rough sleeping in their areas.

The councils have been given £8,958 to employ two night time workers and increase capacity for extra beds.

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Stephen Clarke, head of housing services at Oxford City Council, said: “Cold weather funding means more beds and better support for people experiencing homelessness across Oxfordshire – not just from councils, but also in the NHS.

"In Oxford, we’ll be better equipped to meet the needs of people who would face difficulties in supported accommodation and those who wouldn’t usually qualify for a bed in our homeless pathway.”