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Prince William Homelessness Initiative Launch

As of 2020/21, some 282,000 single people, couples and families were judged as homeless or threatened with homelessness. Despite these numbers falling by 8% on 2019/20 levels, the statistics remain alarmingly high. The need to reduce and solve this issue has never been more urgent.

On Monday 26th June 2023, Prince William, alongside the Royal Foundation, announced his new programme to end homelessness across the UK. The new programme, aptly named Homewards, has partnered with six locations across the UK in a five-year commitment to demonstrate that homelessness can be ended. The programme will be led locally and aims to demonstrate that it is possible to end homelessness by making it rare, brief, and unrepeated.

Homewards will take a transformative approach to the issue of homelessness, putting collaboration at its heart by giving six flagship locations new space, tools, and relationships to showcase what can be achieved through a collective effort. The six locations were gradually unveiled by Prince William on his UK tour across Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th June.

Each place will be supported to deliver an innovative housing project that will test new ways to

unlock homes for those who need them. By the end of the 5-year commitment, the hope is for

Homewards locations to be on the path to ending homelessness for good, with results ready to be replicated in other areas of the UK. 

The supporters of this initiative form part of the 65% of society who believe there are plenty of

things we can do to reduce homelessness.

With homes being a focal point of the Homewards programme, each location will be supported to deliver innovative housing projects that will test new ways to unlock homes at scale within the location and beyond.

As well as delivering real, tangible impact in each local area, Homewards will focus on improving understanding and boosting optimism around the issue of homelessness. This approach comes as new research, released this week by The Royal Foundation, suggests that one in five of the UK public have some experience of the issue (either themselves or through someone close to them). Existing data estimates that homelessness is broader than we think, with over 300,000 people - nearly half of whom are children - currently sofa surfing, sleeping on the streets, living in cars, staying in hostels and other types of temporary accommodation. There is reason for hope, however - with two-thirds (65%) believing that as a society, there are plenty of things we can do to end homelessness.

Nick Maughan said,

‘It is initiatives and project such as Homewards which will truly make the difference to ending

homelessness for good. Partnering with Centrepoint, I have seen first-hand the incredible and vital work they, and other similar organisations do in this area. With the global pandemic and the cost-of- living crisis currently impacting so many, programmes like Homewards are more necessary than they have ever been before. I am looking forward to supporting Homewards through Centrepoint and seeing how much we can achieve together’.


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