Derby City Council and Derby Homes have officially launched the Derby Homelessness Charter: an agreement between 30 organisations in the city that commits to ending homelessness in Derby for good.
The Charter proposes that Derby City Council and Derby Homes, alongside healthcare providers, the Department of Work and Pensions, housing organisations, charities, faith groups, businesses and public sector bodies, all adopt common values and work in partnership to deliver the strategic priorities of the Derby City Homelessness Strategy.
Following the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, it is now a statutory duty for local authorities to prevent homelessness. The aim of the Act is to tackle homelessness by identifying those at risk as soon as possible, and expanding the provision of services. Partners from all over Derby have come together to create the charter, with a view to better sharing information, and ultimately ending homelessness in Derby
Councillor Fareed Hussain, Cabinet Member for Housing and Urban Regeneration, opened the launch. The event also featured speakers including Jim Crawshaw from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and two members from the Voices for Action group.
Facilitated by the Hope Centre, Voices for Action is made up of people who have lived experiences of homelessness in Derby. Their stories are all different, and their knowledge and experiences have helped inform and shape the Homelessness Charter. At the event, partners heard from two individuals, a man who found himself homeless following a relationship breakdown and addiction issues, and a woman who was left with nowhere to live after fleeing an abusive marriage.
30 organisations have pledged to adopt the values set out in the Charter, such as committing to listening to those with lived experiences of homelessness, ensuring those accessing services are protected from discrimination and violence, and identifying what role they have to play in preventing homelessness or helping those who are already homeless.
Councillor Fareed Hussain said:
“I want to thank partners for the innovation and dedication they have shown in helping Derby Homes and Derby City Council prepare for the opportunities and challenges being presented by the new Homelessness Reduction Act.
The new Act presents the biggest change in legislation for the sector since the first piece of homelessness legislation in 1977.
I believe that some of the work happening here in Derby really sets us apart. Firstly, the Partnership Enforcement and Engagement Program (PEEP) model sees agencies in Derby take a coordinated and balanced approach of support and enforcement to help engage with entrenched rough sleepers in the city centre. We have seen lots of people come in to services and begin to move forward with their lives.
Secondly, the huge number of volunteers we have across the city demonstrates the strength of our communities. Whether it’s the Churches night shelter, through foodbanks or services providing help and advice, volunteers have stepped up and generously given to those that need their help.
Derby is in a strong position to deal with the new Act. What came through from attendees here today is that we should be treating people as people, taking a look at their lives as a whole, and working with them and their individual needs to prevent homelessness and create sustainable futures.”
Check out the full photo gallery of the day!
The full list of organisations in attendance and who have pledged to sign up to the Charter are as follows:
- Derby Homes
- Derby City Council
- Direct Help and Advice
- Derby College
- D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership
- Action Housing
- PEEP (Partnership Engagement and Enforcement Programme)
- The Riverside Group
- Department for Work and Pensions
- Padley Group
- Inside Out – St. Peters Church
- Derby City Council Local Area Coordination
- Derbyshire Constabulary
- Derventio Housing
- Derby City Mission
- The Hope Centre
- Derby City Council Talking Point
- Nacro Homes Agency
- Derbyshire Probation Services
- Community Living Trust
- Womens Work
- SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity
- Stepping Stones
- Derby Womens Centre
- Derby City Council Welfare Reform
- Pause Derby
- Building Better Opportunities