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The Prince of Wales launches new initiative

The Prince of Wales has this week, endorsed the need for greater support across the country to end homelessness and rough living, and has made a long term pledge to help find ways to eliminate homelessness through a new initiative set up under his Royal Foundation.

Maninplace and KiP-Telford welcome the Princes’ comments and commitment to tackling homelessness, and his launching of the “Homewards” project. The objective of eliminating homelessness is a very high bar to reach and in the Princes’ own words he said; “it’s a big task”, but the Prince of Wales must be commended for stepping forward and taking responsibility for addressing an issue which affects so many individuals communities around the country. He also recognised the importance of understanding that many people who experience homelessness will have complex circumstances which underline their housing crisis.

The Government has on many occasions, spoken about the need to end rough sleeping and homelessness and has provided funding in an attempt to ease the problem. However, previous initiatives have only touched the surface of this deep routed issue and they have stopped short of addressing the fundamental failure to build adequate social housing.

The “Homewards” project will be set up across six different areas and will bring together partnering organisations with local knowledge and understanding of the needs that affect their community.

“There is not one person who can achieve such an ambitious target alone” said Alan Olver MBE, Maninplace & Kip-Telford Chief Executive, “Any solution must involve individuals and partner organisations from third and private sectors who come together with the common aims and objective in mind, each of whom will bring valuable knowledge and resources.”

Alan Olver MBE went on to say; “In Telford and Wrekin we are fortunate to have valuable partnerships working across the borough from the third-sector, but more work is needed to create a wider network amongst the private and commercial sector. We have long believed at Maninplace and KiP-Telford that a successful transition from homelessness to long-term thriving comes from a diverse support network. We have always welcomed partnership working within Telford, so it is encouraging to hear the Prince of Wales talk so keenly about joint working.”

“Homelessness has been an issue affecting many areas of the country stretching back for centuries. The Salvation Army for example, were responding to homeless people in the 1800’s, demonstrating a long standing need to support vulnerable and marginalised individuals and despite many positive interventions, there is still much work to be done. Innovation is key to finding positive outcomes, alongside the need to step away from negativity towards homeless people. The public and private sector responses to those who live rough still makes way for stereotyping and working practices that include withdrawing of support for people who do not confirm. To strive for success and long-term outcomes, it is important to have greater understanding of the core needs of an individual and recognise that for many, their successes will take time.”

The project announced by the Prince of Wales has received some criticism and referred to as a political matter. Mike Holt, Executive Director for Maninplace said; “Homelessness is not just a political issue, it is a society wide challenge that we must all work together to end. We must push for greater social housing stock to become available, to find a way of reforming the private rental sector that makes it accessible to those who have been marginalised and on low income, and to develop support services that give space and time for those who have chaotic or complex backgrounds to transition from homelessness”.

“We are fortunate within the Telford and Wrekin borough to have initiatives like the Rough Sleeper Task Force that monitors and works with partners to resolve known rough sleeping across the town, but this stops short of the long-term investment in people that is needed to end homelessness. We must be encouraged by the new project the Prince of Wales has implemented and how it could shape the future of homelessness services in years to come” Mike said.

Maninplace and KiP-Telford will be observing the development of the Homewards project and how it will provide a route to potential success for the people who access it, hopefully offering a more holistic approach to resolve the complex and much misunderstood causes of homelessness.

We would like to reach out to businesses, private sector, third sector organisations, community & voluntary sectors, and statutory bodies to join us in a work of Innovation to address the inequalities and the marginalisation of the street homeless within the borough of Telford and Wrekin. Together, we can bring about long-term change and hope for the future of those impacted by rough living and homelessness.

#Homeards #Homelessness #Telford #Stepsforward