Ealing Council is to invest nearly £2million in continuing to offer addiction support to rough sleepers – and a further £4million so it can strengthen the help it provides to other residents with drug and alcohol misuse problems.
Councillor Aysha Raza, the council’s cabinet member for tackling inequality, said: “This investment will make a long-term, meaningful change. Addiction is a cruel disease that, unfortunately, affects a significant number of people in the borough. Services are dealing with excessive caseloads, particularly since COVID-19, and our hope is that this brings some much-needed reprieve to staff and hope for service users.
“It’s sad to see those who are struggling, especially those who want to seek help but have to wait for any length of time. Now, we can take steps to make a difference for them.”
The council will now continue its partnership work with charities like St Mungo’s to help rough sleepers with addiction problems; as well as working with the NHS and the local service provider consortium Ealing RISE. And it will use the money also to build on some of the successful new ways of working that the partners have found with smaller caseloads and more proactive engagement with addicts.
It will also mean that the council can look at developing existing services that it supports and provides as well as looking at new ways to offer help and support.
The additional funding will also support the reinstated drug and alcohol criminal justice team and the work that is done to support the reduction of drug-related deaths.
This overall total of almost £6million investment will be made over a three-year period and was made possible after the council secured government grants.
The decision was made by the council’s cabinet earlier this month.