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Leicester’s Homelessness Charter has – today – published a report which details its current approaches to preventing and responding to homelessness in Leicester, UK. It points to crucial partnership work that has led to new initiatives and projects set up to find solutions for people facing homelessness.

World Habitat has funded one of those new initiatives through its Innovation Fund, part of the European End Street Homelessness Campaign, of which Leicester is a participating city. This initiative will explore how an individual’s immigration status or ‘no recourse to public funds’ condition can affect their ability to access help and support if they find themselves without a home. It will form the basis for the creation of a new local action plan, led by Leicester’s Homelessness Charter, to ensure that anyone with ‘no recourse to public funds’ can access independent advice and safe accommodation when needed.

Patrick Duce, Programme Lead for Homelessness at World Habitat, said:

“World Habitat is delighted to support the work of Leicester’s Homelessness Charter. People who experience homelessness and have ‘no recourse to public funds’ are some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in the UK. This important work will help organisations in the Charter to better understand the needs of this group of people and enable those organisations to work together to ensure everyone facing homelessness is treated with dignity and respect.”

Three years on from the launch in 2018, Leicester’s Homelessness Charter continues to bring a range of charities, statutory agencies, community groups, businesses and individuals together to look at issues affecting people at risk of homelessness or without a home. This collaborative approach has been particularly crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, through which demand for homelessness support has continued to increase.

Leicester’s Homelessness Charter includes the following key achievements.

  • Facilitating the coming together of key agencies in the city, to ensure co-ordination of support to those experiencing homelessness throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Enabling the bringing together of Leicester’s homelessness day services to encourage greater collaboration.
  • Providing regular updates and information, via a monthly e-newsletter, to Charter signatories and supporters.
  • Launching a new website and refreshed city-wide services directory for use by the local community.
  • Supporting the Give Leicester contactless donation initiative in raising over £30,000 to provide housing to people at risk of rough sleeping.

During the last six months, Leicester’s Homelessness Charter, along with its partners and signatories, has instigated new work to further improve local homelessness systems. Notably, it has supported the development of a lived experience forum which sees people with direct and personal experience of homelessness in Leicester coming together on a regular basis to share their feedback, insight and expertise.

Eilidh Stringer, Development Manager at Leicester’s Homelessness Charter, said:

“The report released today demonstrates how much Leicester, as a city, is committed to making things better for people who face homelessness. As a Charter, we are particularly proud to be supporting opportunities for people affected by homelessness to become part of the solution by contributing their personal experience and insight and ensuring that voices which can so often be marginalised are heard.”

Patrick Duce added:

“World Habitat welcomes Leicester’s Homelessness Charter Impact Report, sharing the achievements made by organisations across the city working to tackle homelessness. We work to promote housing solutions across the globe, but as an organisation with its roots in Leicestershire, World Habitat are proud to support the collective work demonstrated throughout this report. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown – like never before – that we cannot solve housing inequality by working in silos. This report provides rich evidence of what can be achieved when partners come together – including with people of lived experience – to focus on much-needed solutions.”

The report highlights numerous examples of agencies coming together with the local community to address gaps in provision and to achieve better outcomes for people facing homelessness in Leicester.

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