Department of Health opens £10m grant fund for homelessness charities

The Homeless Hospital Discharge Fund is aimed at organisations that support homeless people after they leave hospital

The Department of Health has opened a £10m grant fund aimed at voluntary organisations that support homeless people after they leave hospital.

Charities, community benefit societies and social enterprises that spend more than 50 per cent of their income on homeless people can bid for a share of the DoH’s £10m Homeless Hospital Discharge Fund

The funding, which is for 2013/14, will be allocated in August 2013. A spokesman for the DoH said there was no limit to the amount of funding organisations could apply for and the money would be allocated in line with local needs.

Organisations that receive funding will be expected to increase the number of homeless people given accommodation and healthcare once they leave hospital and decrease the number of homeless people who return to hospital after they have been discharged.

The funding follows the publication of a report in May 2012, based on research by the homelessness charitiy St Mungo’s and Homeless Link, the national membership organisation for homelessness agencies, which found that 70 per cent of homeless people had been discharged from hospital without their housing or underlying health problems being addressed.

Anna Soubry, the public health minister, said: "Homeless people are too often discharged back onto the street without their problems being properly addressed. This is damaging to their health and increases NHS costs through ‘revolving door’ admissions."

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