Charity bosses have banded together in support of Prince William’s campaign to eradicate homelessness in the UK.
Sector leaders collectively signed an open letter that described how people across all societal divisions must come together to tackle the epidemic.
He has set his sights on making rough sleeping, sofa surfing and other forms of temporary accommodation a thing of the past as he tries to emulate Finland, where the problem has been virtually eradicated, with his initiative called Homewards.
The five-year project will initially focus on six locations where local businesses, organisations and individuals will be encouraged to join forces and develop “bespoke” action plans to tackle homelessness with up to £500,000 in funding.
In the note, the group said it is “a sad reality that in 2023, homelessness still exists” and Prince William’s Homewards project is a step in the right direction.
“We have seen through his work with The Royal Foundation on mental health, with Heads Together, and the environment, with the success of The Earthshot Prize, that he is able to convene players from across the spectrum, as well as push these issues to the top of the agenda,” they wrote.
“This will be essential if we want to truly end homelessness.”
The leaders went on to detail how the scheme could help aid people experiencing homelessness across the UK.
“The challenge is significant and should not be underestimated. But as a sector, we are excited to see how the six Homewards locations will use the space, tools and relationships provided by this programme to unlock solutions that prevent and end homelessness,” they wrote.
“Over the next five years, our hope is that these learnings will be adopted in many other parts of the UK, transforming the homelessness situation here – and beyond.”
Among those who signed the letter are Tim Spoor, Chief Executive, AKT, Lord Bird, Founder, Big Issue Group, Seyi Obakin, CEO, Centrepoint, Matt Downie MBE, Chief Executive Crisis and Mick Clarke, CEO The Passage.
The future king, who was first taken to a homeless charity when a schoolboy by his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales said: “In a modern and progressive society, everyone should have a safe and secure home, be treated with dignity and given the support they need.
“Through Homewards, I want to make this a reality and over the next five years, give people across the UK hope that homelessness can be prevented when we collaborate.”
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