Turning Lives Around backs Homelessness Charter
TURNING Lives Around took part in the official launch of the Leeds Homelessness Charter last week, a joint initiative between Leeds City Council, statutory organisations and the third sector.
The initiative will see a more joined up approach to tackling homelessness and street sleeping with all parties playing an integrated role to work with those affected by mental illness, addiction, poverty or asylum.
The launch, at St George’s Crypt Conference Centre, heard compelling testimonies from people with firsthand experience of living on the streets, addiction that had led to imprisonment and one man who had spent weeks buying a £1 ticket to London and back in order to avoid rough sleeping before he was able to find voluntary work with a local church and turn his life around.
Leeds MP Hilary Benn told the launch meeting, attended and supported by TLA CEO, Janet Spencer: “What does the charter do? It provides a foundation for building relationships. A piece of paper is not going to do anything. But a piece of paper backed up by lots of relationships with ongoing work taking place through these three different working groups - and through the Big Change Leeds, and the Street Support which is really helpful - it's that that's going to take our city forward."
Janet Spencer said: “Leeds is committed to eradicating homelessness and street sleeping. Turning Lives Around has introduced a series of initiatives to reach some of the most entrenched street sleepers with the most complex problems. These have succeeded for individuals, but the reality is that homelessness has continued to increase rather than decline. This charter will hold us to account and make us continually evaluate our work, analyse what is successful and change what is not working. We all at TLA warmly welcome the Homelessness Charter.”