A conference bringing together organisations and individuals keen to help the homeless in Cardiff was held at City Hall yesterday with the aim of channelling support to some of the most vulnerable citizens in a more focused way.
The event provided those passionate about tackling the issue in the city with the opportunity to consider more collaborative and creative ways of focusing their efforts and resources to help.
The conference was a chance for businesses, organisations, individuals and churches to learn more about the incredibly complex challenge and understand some of the factors that either cause homelessness or reinforce the problem, and identify gaps in support.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: "With rising numbers of people sleeping on the city's streets, tackling homelessness and rough sleeping is a priority for the Council.
"There is a huge amount of goodwill and kindness amongst organisations and volunteer groups that want to make a difference and we want to make sure we are harnessing their passion and working together to achieve the best outcomes for the vulnerable people we are all seeking to help.
"It was wonderful to see so many people who are enthusiastic about making a difference to the homeless at the conference.
"We all need to understand that this is such a complex issue - much more than providing a roof over someone's head. There is a wide range of accommodation provision in the city but without addressing the other issues that go hand in hand with homelessness, we will not properly tackle the issue.
"The event was an opportunity to discuss what we can do better together. There is already so much inspirational work being done and we are so grateful to all those who give their time, efforts and support."
To celebrate a commitment to working together, consultation on a Homeless Charter was started at the event to discuss how businesses, organisations and individuals can help tackle homelessness in the city in a number of ways.
Delegates at the event also heard from a former rough sleeper about his experiences of life on the streets and how he began to rebuild his life, as well as presentations on a number of schemes, including the Boss Project at The Wallich and the Give DIFFerently campaign, an alternative way for people to donate money to help individuals move away from homelessness
- 13,248 emergency food parcels given to local people in the last year, Cardiff Foodbank reveals
- A Christian Coffee shop for the centre of Cardiff
- Living Out of The Christ within you by Gwynedd Jones
- Navigating Your New Normal, Thriving in the Aftermath of Trauma
- Bo Bakes - just one example of the great work of Purple Shoots