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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 December, 2003, 06:52 GMT
Funding boost for homeless
Sleeping rough on the street
Shelter estimates there are about 54,000 people homeless in the south east
Councils in the region are set to benefit from 5.5m worth of government funding designed to tackle homelessness.

Oxford City Council is receiving one of the largest grants of 600,000 while Reading Borough Council is getting 250,000.

Portsmouth and Southampton councils are to get 340,000 each as part of the scheme.

The money will be used to help the councils keep people off the streets and to make sure families are no longer housed in B&Bs.

Councils to benefit
Basingstoke and Deane 40,000
Bracknell Forest 17,000
Cherwell 75,000
New Forest 27,000
Oxford 600,000
Portsmouth 340,000
Reading 250,000
Slough 120,000
Southampton 340,000
South Oxfordshire 21,000
West Berkshire 21,000
West Oxfordshire 75,000
Winchester 20,000
Windsor and Maidenhead 16,000
Wokingham 29,000

Latest government figures show the number of homeless families with children living in B&B accommodation for more than six weeks in the south east has fallen from 240 in June to 220 in September.

Homeless charity Shelter estimates there are 54,000 homeless people in the south east.

According to social affairs experts, 25% of people sleeping rough are aged between 18 and 25.

Family conflict is the main cause of homelessness among at least two-thirds of homeless young people.

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