A ground-breaking new pilot project aims to help ex-offenders stay off the streets and build new lives.
The £6m Government trial, to be run at HMP Leeds as well as prisons in Bristol and London, will target vulnerable ex-prisoners who are at particular risk of re-offending, setting them up with a stable home and helping them to find a job or apply for benefits.
The Government says ex-offenders without a stable home are more likely to reoffend.
Justice Secretary David Gauke said: “These ground-breaking pilots will help prevent rough sleeping among vulnerable ex-offenders and support them as they start a new life after prison.
“As well as ensuring people have somewhere to live, dedicated key worker support will help ex-offenders manage the practical challenges of finding a job and other issues that come with trying to reintegrate into society.
“Every time we help an ex-prisoner into a new life - with a stable home, strong relationships and a regular job - we increase the chances of seeing fewer victims of crime in the future.”
The ex-offenders will be provided with rental deposits and other help to get a home from the day they leave prison.
A new partnership between the prison, local authority, probation staff, charities and others will see teams work together to help those leaving prison to find a suitable home, a job and other support.
The two-year programme forms part of the Government’s £100m Rough Sleeping Strategy announced over the summer.
The announcement comes just weeks after the launch of a new project aimed at helping the homeless in Leeds.
Run by local business and civic leaders, Big Change brings together dozens of organisations in an attempt to help those sleeping rough.