Salvation Army offers homelessness expertise as a partner in a ‘ground-breaking’ new rough sleeping service for Norwich

published on 23 Jul 2018

Pathways Norwich

Salvation Army representatives attended the launch of an innovative new outreach service to address rough sleeping in Norwich today (20 July).

The church and charity is one of seven organisations working together as part of the ‘Pathways’ initiative. The service aims to offer a creative, effective and collaborative response to the current homelessness situation in the city. The other six organisations in the consortium are St Martins, Shelter, YMCA Norfolk, City Reach, The Feed and Future Projects.

Nicola Darkins, Service Centre Manager of The Salvation Army’s Pottergate ARC, a drop-in centre for people in need in the city centre, said: “Tackling poverty and homelessness in Norwich is a priority for The Salvation Army. The launch of Pathways today demonstrates our commitment to working with other organisations and the council to ensure vulnerable people have access to the services they need.”

Commissioned by Norwich City Council in March, Pathways offers a new partnership approach to addressing rough sleeping and supporting people with complex needs. The project will ensure that partners work together to deliver a joined-up service. During the past four months, the Pathways team has been recruited and has started to offer services on the streets as well as support and advice from ‘hubs’ at various accessible locations around the city. The Salvation Army’s Pottergate ARC is a Pathways hub.

Councillor Kevin Maguire, Norwich City Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for rough sleeping, said: “Today marks the beginning of a ground-breaking approach to homelessness and rough sleeping, and I am pleased to see the Pathways team come together to tackle these issues.

“As part of Norwich City Council’s strategy to reduce and, wherever possible, prevent homelessness, we have commissioned these specialist charities to collaborate to provide intensive, tailored support for those most in need.

“I would like to thank everyone involved for getting this project up and running, and wish the team the very best as they embark on this collaborative work.”

In Norwich, The Salvation Army provides immediate support for homeless people. Pottergate ARC is a safe and welcoming drop-in centre that facilitates engagement with specialist support and offers refreshments, access to washing facilities and a compassionate advocacy service.

Recognising that some people may not feel able to come into the ARC, The Salvation Army brings support to them at the Haymarket. Salvation Army volunteers serve food, drink and other essential supplies to rough sleepers in Norwich every evening. Both services aim to build positive relationships and signpost people to appropriate services on their journey towards independent living.

Nicola continued: “We support individuals at the start of their journey to independent living. Many people who are experiencing homelessness feel isolated. We want them to know there are people who care and want to help.

“It is always a privilege to hear from individuals who we have referred on to services such as St Martins Housing and are now in their own accommodation, leading independent lives.”