New rough sleeping service launched in Norwich

Rough sleeper. PHOTO: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Rough sleeper. PHOTO: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire - Credit: PA

An initiative to tackle rough sleeping will be launched in Norwich later today.

Led by St Martins, Pathways is a collaborative project between seven local organisations which aims to offer a response to the current state of homelessness in the city.

Commissioned by Norwich City Council in March for a three year period, the Pathways principle is that there is 'no wrong door' for people to access support.

It is hoped the initiative will ensure rough sleepers are able to use Norwich's support services seamlessly without issues arising due to communication between organisations.

Personalised support will be focused around each individual by qualified and experienced Pathways team members.

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The project will officially launch this lunchtime at City Hall.

Dr Jan Sheldon, chief executive of St Martins said: 'Pathways has been formed with the rough sleepers and those at risk from homelessness in mind.

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'For the first time, support workers will step out of their organisations to provide a robust and unified approach.'

'Pathways doesn't place expectations on people to follow a prescribed route out of homelessness, but rather provides them with targeted support with the goal of a positive outcome for each person.'

'In the past it was sometimes difficult for people to navigate through the appropriate services. People bounced between services and risked falling through the gaps.

'Pathways will take this stress away by providing a seamless and integrated service, so whether a person needs housing, healthcare or benefits advice, the Pathways team are equipped to provide this.'

The Pathways service is delivered by one team, employed by the different organisations in the project - St Martins, Shelter, YMCA Norfolk, The Salvation Army, City Reach, The Feed and Future Projects.

Councillor Kevin Maguire, the city council's cabinet member with responsibility for rough sleeping, said: 'Today marks the beginning of a ground-breaking approach to homelessness and rough sleeping, and I am pleased to see the Pathways team come together to tackle these issues.'

The new Pathways Hubs will be at Bishopbridge House, Pottergate ARC and Under 1 Roof.

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