A WARM welcome awaited the Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin when she visited clients and staff at Francis House recently.

Part of the Beacon Leeds service for homeless adults with multiple disadvantages, Francis House provides 24/7 housing and support for 10 women.

During her visit Tracy was shown around Francis House by Team Leader Amna Rafique meeting several clients who spoke of their lived experiences and how Francis House is helping them to turn their lives around.

“The Mayor was personable and interested in what our clients had to say about their lives and their stay at Francis House,” said Amna. “They were pleased to see her, grateful for her time and her advice about training opportunities.”

Tracy was accompanied on her visit by several West Yorkshire Combined Authority officials, Head of Housing Rebecca Greenwood, Inclusivity Champion Fatima Khan-Shah and Policy and Casework Support Officer Viktorija Kiselyte.

“While walking around we discussed what we offer both during clients’ time living at Francis House and the support provided when they move on to help them sustain their tenancies and prevent the risk of future homelessness,” explained Amna.

“We explained the mix of clients that we have here at any one time where some are adjusting to life in a hostel after rough sleeping, others are tenancy ready and about to move on and the rest are in the middle and progressing on their journey. This brings its own challenges which our visitors appeared to appreciate.”

Following the tour, Tracy and her team met with Turning Lives Around’s Senior Leadership Team to focus on housing related topics such as the increase in homelessness due to the cost-of-living crisis and austerity; how more women, young people and refugees are approaching TLA for help and how the charity works well with Leeds City Council, Wakefield Council and its consortia partners in delivering services like Beacon Leeds.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire said: “I believe everyone deserves to have a safe and secure place to call home. This is why I was delighted to visit Francis House and hear of the fantastic work they do to support homeless and vulnerable women in our communities.

“Together with partners like Turning Lives Around, we’re dedicated to building a brighter West Yorkshire that works for all.”

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