The Norfolk Strategic Housing Partnership was formed to ensure anyone sleeping rough in Norfolk had access to safe accommodation as part of the Government’s ‘Everybody In’ initiative. It went on to develop an ambitious No Homelessness in Norfolk strategy.
No Homelessness in Norfolk is a project being delivered by Norfolk Strategic Housing Partnership, a partnership formed in June 2020 comprising eight local authorities, public health, housing associations, health, police, probation, voluntary sector, charities. The project will lead to a Norfolk-wide Homelessness Strategy with prevention at its heart.
Representatives from the housing sector came together with people with lived experience of homelessness to take part in a virtual conference for the new initiative, No Homelessness in Norfolk. Organised by The Norfolk Strategic Housing Partnership (NSHP), a wide range of stakeholders from across Norfolk took part in the conference on 13th July 2021 with the aim of making a lasting change for people who have experienced homelessness or who have slept rough.
Stephen Evans, Chair of The Norfolk Strategic Housing Partnership, said: “It’s really important that we build on the success of the ‘Everyone In’ project, which saw people experiencing homelessness brought in from the streets during the pandemic and subsequently rehoused. Over 600 people were supported by this multi-agency effort and our commitment now is to ensure that we have a sustainable Norfolk-wide strategy that will reduce homelessness for the future.”
The Corn Hall in Diss and Solo Housing facilitated an in person discussion group with participants, either working in homelessness services or had experienced homelessness as part of the conference. The event at the Corn Hall included a local artist; Joel Millichip who throughout the day captured the thoughts, feelings and ideas from the conference onto canvas. Images captured on the day can be seen below.
Speakers included poet Seamus Fox and poet and author Hannah Green, both of whom have experienced homelessness. It was very powerful hearing them express their personal journeys through the art of poetry. Norfolk County Council’s Executive Director of Adult Social Services, James Bullion, and Norwich City Council’s Chief Executive, Stephen Evans, also presented talks on making real changes for people experiencing homelessness.
The next stage is to develop a Norfolk-wide inclusive strategy, agreed by all partners, which will support and facilitate the system change needed to deliver No Homelessness in Norfolk.