Along with others across the town and county, we want the whole of Northamptonshire to be a place, where there is no need for anyone to sleep on the streets. We also recognise that homelessness is not just rough sleeping, it is also the challenge of the ‘hidden homelessness’ where there are many people in Northamptonshire who are homeless but hidden from view, living in temporary accommodation, ‘sofa surfing,’ staying in refuges, shelters etc. These people are often vulnerable too, and in need of support to gain and to maintain secure accommodation.
There are many organisations doing excellent work in these areas and we have can see that a shared approach to working together in a cohesive way, in partnership with local authorities, will increase the impact of these activities. We believe too that churches and community groups have a great deal to offer, especially in terms of a sense of belonging, a welcoming community, diversity, relational wealth, mentoring and befriending, a sense of value, purpose and meaning. There is some excellent progress in these areas, not least with the new “Northampton Single Homelessness Forum”. We are exploring partnerships with organisations who provide creative opportunities, in a relational way, for people seeking housing. It is exciting to see how these initiatives can come together to have a real impact in our town and county.
Our hope is to recruit volunteers in the following areas:
Mentoring: intentional relationship which are empowering and enabling
Maintenance: Practical help to serve basic needs and maintain accommodation
Monitoring: serve safe and secure lifestyles enabling secure accommodation
Street homelessness is a complicated social issue – but for the people living on the streets, it’s a very real and practical issue. This group are a relatively small proportion of homeless households – other households may have access to temporary accommodation but experience a lack of settled accommodation. The effect on these ‘hidden homeless’ can be equally as devastating as for rough sleepers. This is particularly for children who live in homeless households – the disruption of changing schools, communities and address details has a huge impact on health and well-being.
We are exploring partnerships with organisations who provide creative opportunities, in a relational way, for people seeking housing. It is exciting to see how these initiatives can come together to have a real impact in our town and county.