As homelessness increases nationally, the local Church of England, City Council and organisations working with people who are homeless, are joining forces to develop a Charter aimed at tackling the issue.
A draft Homelessness Charter is out for consultation until 7 September 2018. You can read the draft charter and submit your comments by clicking here.
It aims to establish principles and values which will enable people and organisations to work together better to tackle homelessness, trying to prevent it happening as well as providing more support for those affected by it.
The Charter will also provide a framework for improvement in the way different groups and organisations support people who are homeless or sleeping rough; enabling change; raising awareness; providing advice and developing a more co-ordinated approach.
In November last year a targeted campaign was carried out under the principles of the European End Street Homeless Campaign to provide more detailed information and insight about those who were currently or had rough slept in the last six months. This included a survey of people sleeping outside in Leicester or using night shelters.
Some of the findings can be seen in the Ending Street Homeless Survey, carried out by De Montfort University, which can be seen here: http://actionhomeless.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/end-street-homelessness-in-leicester-report-nov-2017.pdf
Information gathered from the survey, and from the city council’s five-year Homeless Strategy, has been used to help shape the Charter.
Discussions started in January when the Church of England at St Martins House Conference Centre in Leicester, brought together a forum made up of a range of agencies including, the Police, the Red Cross, the Y Centre, One Roof Leicester and Street Pastors.
This forum commissioned a small working group comprising representatives from Leicester City Council, Action Homeless, SoundCafe Leicester and the Church of England’s Diocese of Leicester to take forward the idea of a Charter.
The Revd Canon Alison Adams, Chair of the homeless forum working group, said: “We invite all interested parties, whether individuals or groups, to read this draft Charter and respond to this consultation.
“We will review the outcomes of the consultation, hear peoples’ views including those of people directly affected by homelessness, explore what other cities are doing with regard both to tackling homelessness and developing a Charter which brings organisations and individuals together to support and contribute to tackling homelessness. Hopefully, we will be able to launch a finalised Charter at an event in late autumn 2018.
“I hear many people seeking to understand better and asking what they could do to make a difference. This Charter will establish principles and values and enable people to work together better to tackle homelessness.”
Cllr Andy Connelly, Asst City Mayor for housing said: “There are many different groups and individuals across the city offering support to people who are homeless and people sleeping rough. We welcome the creation of a charter which aims to bring together all those who are working to reduce and resolve this in our city.”