Homelessness is a complex and challenging problem to tackle at the best of times, needing coordination between mental health services, addiction, debt, housing, employment, health and a range of other services to find practical and effective solutions that work for individuals and stay the course.
But in the middle of a housing crisis that work is made all the more challenging.
Nicola has in the past spent time with the Gatehouse, Simon House, Crisis and other services working with homelessness. She is also a Patron of both the Ley Community, an abstinence-based residential rehab in Yarnton, and of the Archway Foundation, the charity for loneliness, which both play a role in homelessness pathway in Oxfordshire.
Most recently, Nicola met with Lesley Dewhurst, Chief Executive, of Oxfordshire Homeless Pathways at their project in Abingdon which offers homeless individuals over 22, 13 self contained flats. The project includes one emergency accommodation flat and support staff to help residents get back on their feet.
As well as hearing about the work of OxHOP, Nicola discussed concerns about cuts to Oxfordshire County Council’s funding, the effect of the introduction of Universial Credit on private landlords, and the lack of accessible housing with Lesley and her staff.