Homelessness in Chelmsford City Centre is not a new problem but the current pandemic has seen a rise in the numbers becoming homeless.
The Cathedral works with other organisations to host the Intervention Hub, providing support and advice for homeless individuals and families. Our ordinand, Gary Fleming has been involved in the project for nearly two years now, alongside his training for full-time ministry.
The Cathedral continues to host the Intervention Hub (IH) and Helping Hands Essex (HHE) support sessions on a Monday. Covid has impacted on these and the IH is currently being run virtually, however, HHE continues to meet each week. The impact of the IH has led to a significant reduction in the number of rough sleepers on the streets of the city with between six and seven rough sleepers currently on the streets. Although sometimes it appears to be higher as some tend to re-visit the lifestyle for personal reasons.
However, every person who is on the streets has been offered a recovery program and intervention. Those who remain represent a hard-to-reach group of rough sleepers. The Chelmsford Single Homeless Forum which started from the work we began in partnership with Chelmsford City Council and partners has been the driving force behind this increasingly coordinated response. As a result, the approach of providing a one-stop hub offering many different kinds of support, is also being considered to help homeless families. It is hoped that a separate hub can soon be established for families to drop in and obtain advice.
For more information, please contact Gary Fleming