Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson is helping to give ex-offenders a better chance at turning their lives around.
He has joined forces with Swindon Borough Council, Wiltshire Council and Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) to help employ a new support worker who will deal directly with ex-offenders, offering help and guidance.
Funded by the PCC and CRC and delivered by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council,the Offender Housing Support Worker will support ex-offenders leaving prison to find somewhere to live and maintain their accommodation, as well as those already in the community who are struggling with their accommodation.
Although the support worker will be employed by Wiltshire Council, they will work across both Wiltshire and Swindon Borough local authority areas.
Mr Macpherson said: “I am very pleased to be working with the Local Authority and the Probation Service to meet the cost of an Offender Housing Officer.
“I have long held the view that without suitable and stable housing, offender rehabilitation is compromised.
“This appointment will aid those ex-offenders leaving prison or in the community to work with housing officers in either Wiltshire or Swindon to maintain their housing, an important part in rebuilding their life.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said “We recognise the link between stable housing and re-offending and this post will provide a great opportunity to improve the prospects for offenders coming out of prison and for those who are already in the community and struggling with their housing.
“Working closely with the Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Community Rehabilitation Company and Wiltshire Probation Service we will seek to find ways of providing stable housing to help ensure that those leaving custody have the best chances to resettle positively in the community.”