Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Sunday, 7 December 2008

Council to do more for homeless

Homless person begging
It is hoped people at risk can be helped more quickly

A County Durham council has signed an agreement to join forces with local agencies to help prevent homelessness.

Based on a national model of joint working Darlington Borough Council will work with the Citizens Advice Bureau and local housing charity First Stop.

Together they will provide advice, assistance and support to those who are homeless or those at risk.

The National Homelessness Advice Service developed the model of working and praised the council for signing up.

Mike Hill, chief executive of Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau, said: "This is an important example of partnership working in Darlington to improve the lives of people who get into difficulties.

"By agreeing to this strategy, we can help more people more quickly and minimise the misery that homelessness would bring."

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