The Salvation Army, in collaboration with six other charity organisations, is pioneering a new rough sleeping service in Norwich. The outreach service, called the Pathways initiative, was launched on the 20th of July, 2018. Pathways aims to creatively and effectively address the increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness in the city. It was commissioned by Norwich City Council to offer comprehensive services from various hubs located around the city. The Salvation Army’s drop-in hub is at its Pottergate ARC.
The Pathways approach
Pathways takes a holistic approach that is designed to address the complexity of homelessness and rough sleeping, providing personalised support programmes for people who want to regain their confidence and independence by getting back on their feet.
Commenting at the launch, Nicola Darkins, Service Centre Manager of The Salvation Army’s Pottergate ARC, 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.”
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 … 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.”
Councillor Maguire expressed his gratitude to all organisations involved and wished them the very best as they continued the good work.
The Salvation Army’s role in Norwich
The Salvation Army has been active in Norwich for some time, providing immediate support for people experiencing homelessness at its drop-in centre, Pottergate ARC. Services range from providing food and drink and washing facilities to facilitating engagement and providing compassionate advocate services. Furthermore, The Salvation Army offers its services at the Haymarket, where people can avail themselves of support every night.
Two of the most important functions are to help people build positive relationships and direct people to services that will more effectively provide the personalised services each person needs to achieve independence.
As Nicola Darkins said, “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.”