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Ambitious initiative takes new approach to tackle homelessness in Exeter

Published: 10 October 2019

Cllr Emma Morse Cllr Emma Morse - Portfolio Holder for Supporting People

People who have been homeless will be at the heart of a new collaborative initiative to tackle homelessness in Exeter.

Public sector organisations, businesses, charities, residents and people with experience of homelessness will be invited to join the Exeter Homeless Partnership and help develop a city-wide response to address the issue.

The new three-year project, which has been funded by Comic Relief, and will be managed by CoLab (Exeter’s wellbeing and innovation hub), has been launched today to mark World Homelessness Day. In conjunction, Exeter is now represented on Street Support – a website that connects and supports local people and organisations to end homelessness.

Project Co-ordinator Stuart Hooper, who has worked in the homeless sector in Exeter for eight years says: ‘Colleagues across statutory and non-statutory agencies have different responsibilities, but they share a commitment to preventing and reducing homelessness in Exeter. By joining this partnership, we are all acknowledging that working more closely together and involving people across the city is the best way to go.’

The partnership is overseen by a steering group representing a total of 5 organisations including Exeter City Council and St Petrock’s, and will be seeking the views of people across Exeter; from those closest to homelessness to businesses and the general public.

To this end, the partnership will be hosting a variety of events and consultations over the next 6 months, and welcomes anyone and everyone to share their views and ideas.

This will advise the creation of a Homeless Charter for the City – a ‘one page’ commitment setting out the vision, values and pledges of everyone involved. Businesses, agencies and the general public will be invited to sign up to the charter when it launches in Spring 2020.

One of the organisations involved in delivering this unique project is Exeter City Council. Cllr Emma Morse, Lead Councillor for Supporting People, said: “On World Homelessness Day, we are very proud to be part of Exeter Homeless Partnership’s launch.

“Homelessness affects everyone in the city. We know that many households are only one pay cheque away from being homeless, and that countless others have to sleep where they can, from a friend’s sofa to their own car and even the street.  

“Exeter City Council is passionate about improving the lives and wellbeing of everyone in the city; including the most vulnerable. This partnership offers an opportunity for everyone to be part of addressing the imbalance we see as well as that which we do not.

“If the public, businesses and agencies across this wonderful city can support the partnership and explore the ways that they can help, we can all combine energies to improve services and the overall offer of help and support to people who are homeless in Exeter.”

If you would like to find out more about Exeter Homeless Partnership or to have your say, please visit the Street Support Exeter webpage, Exeter Homeless Partnership webpage or contact the Exeter Homeless Partnership on Twitter.

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