As commuters return home to their families, shops close their doors and tourists pack onto the trains, York city centre is transformed from a daytime urban space of affluence, commerce and activity into a night-time bed for the city’s homeless. Over the recent year, the number of homeless sheltering in our city’s doorways has become an ever-growing issue that has sparked much debate among local media, politicians and welfare groups. Yet now York may be on the way to a resolution as York-based homeless charity, SASH, is successfully awarded almost £200,000 to make a vow that they will try ensure no one has to sleep on the streets for more than one night.
This initiative will see Yorkshire join 28 other communities as part of the Government’s rough sleeping strategy ‘Vision to end rough sleeping: No Second Night Out nationwide’ which is supported by a £20m independent fund given to Homeless Link. This in turn forms part of another Government plan announced fresh from Westminster today, called Making Every Contact Count, which makes clear commitments from the Government to stop the slide into homelessness and provide a safety net to those at risk of sleeping rough at the earliest possible opportunity.
The £199,071 grant given to SASH will hopefully help find a path out of poverty for the estimated 150 people sleeping on Yorkshire’s streets on any one night with the help of an army of dedicated volunteers and ‘hosts’ from the local community who can provide a spare room for homeless young people.
Peter Robinson, Director of SASH, told Minster.fm: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant, which will enable us to help some of the most vulnerable young people in the East Riding. SASH has been helping young homeless people since 1996, using its highly successful model of a volunteer-led project that gives local people the chance to help members of their own communities who have been made homeless.”