Private landlords urged to open doors to Shrewsbury's homeless
Private landlords have been urged to open their doors to lend a hand to Shrewsbury's homeless people.
Shrewsbury Ark and Shropshire Council have launched the appeal to help keep people off the streets as lockdown restrictions are eased.
In the early stages of the pandemic in the UK, the Prince Rupert Hotel, in Butcher Row, provided shelter for 25 of the most vulnerable adults who had been sleeping rough.
Many have made good progress through their own determination, along with support from Riverside GP practice, Mind, and Shropshire Recovery Partnership.
As restrictions begin to ease, the council wants to find accommodation and employment for as many of the people placed into hotel accommodation as possible, but a shortage of properties in the key areas is making the task difficult.
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Laura Fisher, Shropshire Council’s housing services manager, said: “I believe we have an opportunity to ensure we reduce homeless and rough sleeping numbers in Shropshire long term by continuing to work with those who have made progress and are ready for their own tenancies.
“Once hotels go back to business as usual we need to be sure we can provide as many people as possible with somewhere to call home. We are already having conversations with our social housing providers, but there is not enough social housing to meet our needs, and we will need to rely on private landlords to help also.”
Wendy Faulkner, manager at Shrewsbury Ark, added: “Our clients don’t just need a roof over their head, many of them need ongoing care and support from multiple agencies to deal with issues such as their mental health, addiction, or simply to be able to access the activities we provide supporting them on their road to recovery. We also support them to maintain their properties once they have moved on.
“Ideally many of them would wish to have accommodation in Shrewsbury. We have found in the past that if they are in accommodation a long way out from the town centre, individuals can struggle to cope, which often leads to them returning to Shrewsbury’s streets.
"If we can find them accommodation in the town, we have a greater chance of helping them to move their life forward in a positive way.”
Shrewsbury Ark has applied for funding to support people placed into accommodation, which includes the care and upkeep of the property itself. If you are a private landlord and think you can help, email either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
If you are concerned about someone you have seen sleeping rough you can contact Streetlink at 0300 500 0914 or streetlink.org.uk/
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