PEOPLE at risk of homelessness in Wyre Forest will benefit from a new emergency shelter in Kidderminster - made possible by a £240,000 rise in funding.

Investment to prevent single people or childless couples who are at risk of homelessness in Worcestershire will rise to £301,500 a year, an increase of £240,000.

Worcestershire councils have awarded the contract to support people at risk of homelessness to Caring for Communities and People.

The new service will also see the number of emergency shelters for rough sleepers across Worcestershire rise from two to five.

Shelters will be based in Kidderminster, Worcester, Malvern, Evesham, and Redditch, enabling people to be given help locally.

The existing two shelters are in Worcester and Redditch - while the exact locations have not yet been agreed for the other three.

CCP will open the shelters on any night when the temperature is predicted to fall to zero or below, in line with Worcestershire’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol.

The county-wide service has been commissioned by district councils across Worcestershire, and will be jointly funded and managed by Worcestershire County Council.

Wyre Forest District Council’s cabinet member for housing, health, wellbeing, Councillor Nicky Martin, said: “The main focus of this new service is on early intervention and preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place.

"The new emergency shelter in Kidderminster will be a very welcome addition to the other services we provide in Wyre Forest to people who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless.

“At the moment when the temperatures drop below freezing people have to travel outside of the district.

"This will mean there will be a safe and warm place to stay within Wyre Forest during the most severe weather.”

The new contract with CCP will run from October this year to the end of September 2021. It will be governed and managed by a county-wide group of officers.