Residents, businesses and charities are being asked to sign up to play their part in tackling rough sleeping and homelessness in a new initiative being launched by Cheshire West and Chester Council.
The Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Pledge aims to improve the way organisations and individuals work together to tackle homelessness in the borough. Signatories to the Pledge will agree to make a tangible contribution to reducing homelessness and rough sleeping by offering their support and undertaking a number of straightforward actions.
For individuals, this includes committing to contact the forfutures Outreach Support Team if they believe that someone is sleeping on the streets and supporting the many local organisations working to provide assistance on the ground.
Meanwhile, businesses are encouraged to provide training and employment for people recovering from homelessness, and to make preventing homelessness part of their corporate social responsibility.
The pledge – which can be signed on the Council’s website at https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/residents/housing/housing-advice-and-homelessness/housing-advice-and-homelessness/rough-sleeping-and-homelessness-pledge – was launched alongside partners from the homelessness, housing, voluntary and business sectors.
Councillor Matt Bryan, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency, said, “As a Council we are committed to driving down rough sleeping and homelessness, but we do not work in isolation. We are very proud to work alongside a range of partners, including charities, housing associations and businesses.
“This Pledge is about ensuring that everyone knows the best way to offer support and ensure that people who are sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness receive the assistance that they need.
“We know that this issue matters deeply to lots of people across Cheshire West and Chester. I’d encourage as many people as possible to visit our website, sign the pledge and support the work that we are doing alongside charities and other partners.”
The initiative is part of the Council’s commitment to reducing homelessness and ending rough sleeping in the borough.
The includes providing new supported accommodation schemes so that people have a safe place to stay while they are helped to find a new home. The support provided includes help with finding long term housing, employment, access to health and personal finance advice.
Providing accommodation is only one small part of the work that the Council does. In many cases, homelessness can be prevented by intervening early when people are at risk. This work is critical and turns lives around.
Councillor Bryan added, “We often speak with people who want to help to tackle these extremely challenging issues, but don’t know how. By providing the opportunity to sign a pledge, we can start to build a network and can look at different ways to bring people together and ensure that expertise is shared.
“We are hopeful that this work will lead to even more individuals and organisations working together towards a shared goal – driving down homelessness and ending rough sleeping in Cheshire West and Chester.”