Last week I joined my fellow Sheffield MP Paul Blomfield to visit the Charter Row Lifehouse, run by the Salvation Army, which provides accommodation for up to 55 men at risk of homelessness, alongside tailored, wraparound support.
The Salvation Army provides vital support services in Sheffield, helping get people back on their feet and doing excellent work in preventing them from having to sleep on the streets and the associated antisocial responses people face when left vulnerable.
We met one former resident who before their help had been on the streets for four years. After just four months he’s quit drinking and has been supported into a flat of his own, which he’s been busy decorating over Christmas. He’s just one success story but there are many more.
But the Salvation Army are concerned about Government proposals on supported housing, which could change the way funding is granted and make it more difficult for the Salvation Army to help stabilise their lives and get them on the right track.
Combined with the whole range of Government reforms to welfare policy, which have driven people into rent arrears and affected the numbers of people at risk of homelessness, it’s incredibly worrying to see how the planned changes the Government is proposing to the current funding system for supported housing would see the funding for sites like this become more precarious, and I’ll continue to challenge them on their proposals.