Experts gather to discuss causes of rough sleeping

Experts gather to discuss causes of rough sleeping


City centre businesses will hear from sector experts on homelessness in the city at an event designed to explain the causes and issues around rough sleeping in Cardiff.


Cardiff Council will deliver a presentation to businesses alongside other agencies including Llamau, DrugAid, Pobl and bigmoose at the invite-only event which will also hear from young people who have experienced homelessness.


Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, who will speak at the event said: "We were approached by Chris Nott from Capital Law - who has arranged this event - to come along and talk to businesses about the increase in rough sleeping and to explain the reasons for it and what we are doing with partner agencies to help alleviate it.


"Rough sleeping in the city has more than doubled in the past few years and there are now up to 70 people on our streets facing the terrible uncertainty that homelessness brings.

"As a Council we are committed to tackling rough sleeping. We don't want to see anyone fall into this dire situation, and if they do, we want to offer them the help they need to get out of it.

"Since April his year we have helped 74 people come off the streets and get into accommodation.

"It's important to make clear that working with our partners across the city we have the facilities in place to offer people shelter and we can help them turn their lives around, but there are many complex issues involved in getting people off the street. It's about more than being able to offer a roof over their heads."

The event which is expected to host around 100 people will begin at 5pm in the Novotel, on Wednesday, September 20.

Cabinet member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said:"Addressing rough sleeping in the city is a key priority for the Council and we aim to work with partners to deliver our Rough Sleeper Strategy, including adopting a ‘No First Night Out' policy and piloting new approaches, including a ‘Housing First' model which moves rough sleepers straight from the streets into a home.


"We're committed to working with individuals to support them to access services and our Outreach team works 7 days a week both during the day and into the evening to engage with people sleeping rough or who are at risk of sleeping rough. We also work with homeless charities such as Huggard, the Salvation Army, Wallich and the YMCA to provide hostel accommodation, a day centre for the homeless, and a night bus service.


"However, individuals who sleep rough often have enormously complex issues and in some circumstances choose not to access our accommodation, instead sleeping rough for many years. In these circumstances, our Outreach team works directly with them on a daily basis.


"Unfortunately many of the people sleeping rough in Cardiff come from outside the city and have no local connection. This results in added pressure on services, so where appropriate we work with partners to help reconnect these individuals to their home area.


"We've also recently agreed funding for a number of innovative housing projects to help address rough sleeping in the city and these projects will commence shortly."


Chris Nott, senior partner at Capital Law, and the event organiser, said: "Llamau's Ending Youth Homelessness campaign is a really worthwhile initiative and something I'm really pleased to be able to be involved with. They already have the support of the Welsh Government, Michael Sheen and his following, and we're hopeful that this event will bring the discussion into the business community. It'll be interesting to see how Cardiff's business minds approach this problem, which typically hasn't crossed into the business sphere.


"We hope that the event will facilitate a better understanding among the business community, so that they can engage with the issue and open the door to future involvement."