Local MP Dean Russell welcomed Eddie Hughes, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, to Watford to show him how local organisations are working to tackle rough sleeping in the town.
The Minister’s first stop was to New Hope’s Haven, which focuses on providing humanitarian aid to people facing homelessness, providing hot food, showers and advice. Following this the MP for Walsall North was shown around New Hope’s Sanctuary site, which provides street outreach and single room accommodation and where staff and volunteers work tirelessly to support people at a critical moment, helping them to escape rough sleeping and preparing them to move into longer-term supported accommodation.
Rob Edmonds, acting CEO of New Hope said “We’re so grateful for the opportunity to showcase the fantastic work that our staff and volunteer team does – often working tirelessly behind the scenes. New Hope never gives up no matter the situation we and those we support find themselves in and so it was great to be able show what has, and continues to be achieved.”
The visit ended at One YMCA, which received £2.2 million in government investment last year to reconfigure the facility and provide an additional 34 self-contained studios for local individuals who were previously homeless or sleeping rough.
Guy Foxell, CEO of One YMCA said “The Government has put its money where its mouth is on taking steps to end rough sleeping – and it’s working well in Watford! As the cost of living bites even harder, YMCA is asking for funding to be prioritised towards intensive early intervention projects like ours, which have seen such success with turning the lives of local homeless people around.”
Dean Russell said “It was great to be able to show Eddie the incredible work that has taken place in Watford. Our town is incredibly lucky to have New Hope and One YMCA who work really well together. Watford has received more than £4.5 million in additional funding from central government to help those sleeping rough. I am also grateful to the service users who took the time to share their experiences with the Minister.”
Eddie Hughes said “Dean has been regularly updating me on the work happening across Watford to tackle rough sleeping. Thanks to his campaigning Watford has received over £4.5m of government funding so it was a pleasure see the incredible work of local charities and organisations first hand in helping to end rough sleeping across the town.”