Thames Reach’s vision for 2020
Thames Reach’s Chief Executive, Bill Tidnam, discusses how we are working towards ending street homelessness in 2020
2019 was an incredibly busy year for Thames Reach, with demand for our services across prevention, response and recovery for homeless and vulnerable people increasing.
We are now looking forward, continuing to work with our ethos and values at the heart of what we do. These are:
§ Never giving up on people
§ Having the highest aspirations, expectations and respect for service users
§ Priding ourselves on having staff with compassion, integrity, professionalism and commitment
§ Integrity of the whole (achieving trust and mutual respect between the different parts of the organisation)
§ Generous partnerships with others
§ Telling it as it is
While these values shape our work on a daily basis, our work will be taken into the New Year with these concerns at our core:
§ Pushing for further investment in preventative services: At Thames Reach we have found that providing support for people at risk of homelessness is always more effective than intervening once an individual has become street homeless. Services such as Deptford Reach, Employment & Skills and Brent Reach provide tailored support, advice, education and training to prevent people becoming homeless and help people recover and rebuild their lives. If we are serious about preventing street homelessness we need to invest in better and more comprehensive prevention services.
§ An increase in social housing provision: We know that providing secure, affordable housing is key to helping people move away from homelessness. We have an excellent model in the Rough Sleeping Initiative, which combines social housing with the support for those that need it, but we desperately need more of it. The insecurity and poor quality housing available in much of the private rental sector makes it difficult for people to move away from street homelessness.
§ Maintaining levels of investment in services for rough sleepers: The past two years have seen a significant investment increase in the kind of crisis services that work with people on the streets and those which provide emergency accommodation. This investment is beginning to have an impact, despite the numbers of new rough sleepers coming on to the streets. It is important that this continues and evolves to meet changing needs.
We are grateful for the Thames Reach community for their continued support; whether you donate, volunteer, are a service user, corporate partner, staff member or simply follow our work, we look forward to making our community stronger in 2020, motivated by our mission to end street homelessness.