Date set for countywide homelessness conference

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A HOMELESSNESS conference will be hosted by Warwickshire County Council in September.

It will be the first event of its kind in the county and will bring together stakeholders who are helping to develop a countywide strategy to reduce homelessness.

Reducing homelessness has emerged as a priority issue for Warwickshire due to a 26 per cent increase in the number of people recorded as sleeping rough.

It is also estimated that approximately 33,400 adults in Warwickshire may be sofa surfing or in insecure accommodation, with a further group of people who are considered statutorily homeless, meaning they cannot continue to live where they are due to legal or safety reasons.

The causes of homelessness are complex and cannot be solved with a housing solution alone.

Research suggests there are links to several individual factors, including poverty, early childhood adverse experiences, mental illness and substance misuse problems. Earlier this year, the county council allocated £300,000 to help support a resolution to homelessness challenges.

The Countywide Approach to Homelessness Prevention conference will take place on Thursday, 27th September, at the Dunchurch Park Hotel and Conference Centre near Rugby.

Cllr Les Caborn, the county council’s portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “Preventing homelessness is a challenge across Warwickshire, and I am very pleased that we are working with our partners, in particular district and borough councils and NHS colleagues, to address the various factors that can increase someone’s likelihood of becoming homeless, as well as reaching out to people who are already homeless to offer practical support.

“The conference in September represents an important opportunity for all the stakeholders involved in tackling this countywide issue to come together, share information and gain a wider understanding of each other’s duties and services.”

Others that will attend the conference will be North Warwickshire Borough Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Rugby Borough Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Warwick District Council and both Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS trusts that cover the county.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western chaired a summit of agencies operating in his constituency earlier in the year.