The Secretary of State for Education was in Crewe last week to hear how recent Government funding, awarded to Cheshire East Council in partnership with other providers, will be used to help reduce the number of rough sleepers and prevent vulnerable people from becoming homeless.
Damian Hinds, accompanied by Kieran Mullan, the new Crewe and Nantwich Conservative Parliamentary Candidate and Cheshire East Councillors, met with Richard Holmes and staff at the YMCA on Gresty Road– where over 130 single men and women are supported to overcome the circumstances that have led to homelessness and to support them to independence.
After the visit, the Minister said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Kieran on his selection, and I am sure he is going to do a great job campaigning on some of the issues close to the hearts of residents here – including improved public services and infrastructure.
“I would like to thank him for bringing me to meet the amazing team at the YMCA here in Crewe. It’s not just accommodation that is on offer but also much needed support for vulnerable homeless people of all ages. In addition, the partnership between Cheshire East Young People’s services, the Housing Team and the YMCA to support vulnerable care-leavers manage the transition from care home to adult independence is truly inspirational.”
Councillor Clowes said: “Whilst we know that across Cheshire East there are not many rough sleepers when compared with other local authorities, even one person on the streets is one too many.
“This is why we are determined to tackle homelessness across the borough and are working with several community groups and organisations – including Crewe Town Council, the voluntary sector, charities and faith groups – to help provide the right services for people sleeping on the streets.”
Cheshire East is one of 83 councils who will share in a £30m pot of government cash to help boost the support offered to people sleeping rough or who are at risk of becoming homeless, with Cheshire East Council due to receive more than £250,000 as its share of the fund.
As part of new measures to be introduced, outreach workers will help support rough sleepers with advice on support services available. There will also be 39 beds made available through partner organisations and a new rough sleeping co-ordinator is to be appointed to help deliver the homeless strategy.
Richard Holmes, Development Manager at YMCA Crewe said: “It was good to welcome the Minister to YMCA Crewe and to share the work we do with him. The people we work with have all experienced homelessness but they have amazing and often hidden abilities and skills. Our work involves a lot more than just providing a roof over people's heads. We offer opportunities, training and engagement to bring those abilities out and support them to navigate the challenges they face so that they can live independently and successfully”.