The purpose of this event was to build relationships with and gain the support of key influencers who are integral to ending chronic rough sleeping in Croydon by 2020.
Among those who attended the event were members of Croydon Council, The Right Reverend Bishop Jonathan Clark, (the Bishop of Croydon) and representatives from Croydon Nightwatch, Turning Point and Look Ahead.
The summit was opened by our Chief Executive, Jeremy Gray, who stated, ‘We believe in this campaign, we believe there is a solution to ending chronic rough sleeping in Croydon. ‘
A detailed overview of the CR Zero 2020 campaign was then given by our Director of Operations, Lee Buss, followed by a breakdown of some of the key data from surveys completed by rough sleepers during our Connections Weeks in 2016 and 2017, by our Heads of Operations, Debra Ives and David Robinson.
Then one of our most dedicated volunteers, Jim Nayyar, who is also part of the CR Zero 2020 Solutions Group, gave a call to action which included an incredibly powerful and personal story from Conan Keely, another one of our volunteers and a former rough sleeper.
Jim then went onto announce the of a JustGiving page dedicated to raising funds for solutions to chronic street homelessness in Croydon. One particular solution that this JustGiving page is dedicated to is called ‘Housing First,’ which is based on the principle of meeting people’s most basic need- somewhere to live- before they engage with support services. The Housing First ethos is that everyone deserves somewhere to live despite obstacles such as complex mental health needs and drug and alcohol addictions. It is incredibly difficult for homelessness services to get people to engage unless they have somewhere to live, to feel safe and get a good night’s sleep.
Statistics have shown that on average, a rough sleeper costs the UK government £45,000 a year by living on the street (through the criminal justice system, A&E appointments etc.) compared to the incredibly cost effective £1,500 through Housing First.
If you are interested in supporting the CR Zero 2020 Housing First JustGiving page, please click here.
If you would like to learn more about the CR Zero 2020 campaign to end chronic street homelessness in Croydon, please click here.
If you would like to come to our next CR Zero 2020 Community Solutions Group meeting on Tuesday 6 March, please click here.