A conference attended by organisations working to tackle the causes of homelessness in Warwickshire through the creation of a joint prevention strategy is being hailed as a success.
On Thursday 27 September, partners from across Warwickshire’s public and third sector gathered at Dunchurch Park Hotel in Rugby for a conference to discuss and address the causes and implications of homelessness for Warwickshire people.
Delegates heard how rough sleeping in Warwickshire increased 26% from 2016 to 2017, and it was also revealed that the three main causes of homelessness in Warwickshire are domestic abuse, family or friends being unwilling to accommodate the person, and private tenancies being terminated by the landlord.
The principle aim of the conference was to provide decision makers with societal context around the causes of homelessness and the challenges this presents the public sector, and examine how services can be better designed and commissioned to help get the vulnerable people they serve into sustainable accommodation.
Delegates heard from a number of professionals, including guest speaker Victoria Kell from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government’s Homelessness Advice Support Team who detailed the Government’s approach to homelessness and rough sleeping. Housing and health were also explored and representatives from Warwick District Council, Rugby Borough Council and Stratford-on-Avon District Council spoke on their local homelessness challenges and solutions.
Also speaking was Dr Nigel Hewitt, Medical Director of leading UK homeless healthcare charity Pathway, and the conference opened with an introduction from WCC’s Councillor Les Caborn, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health.
During the afternoon, a series of workshops were held to explore the interrelated factors that can put people at increased risk of homelessness and/or rough sleeping, and a marketplace was held with stalls promoting services ranging from domestic violence support, to help for veterans, to drug and alcohol services.
Cllr Les Caborn, WCC Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “The overarching aim of this event is to set the strategic direction and begin to form a consensus around a countywide homelessness and rough sleeping strategy. I want to thank all the partners who attended today to share knowledge and learn from our colleagues across the sector.”