Prince William Visits Hill Street to Help Tackle Homelessness
On June 26th, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited our housing development in Hill Street, Newport. The visit was in support of Homewards, a new five year project from The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales. The Linc run property, Hill Street, is one of the six flagship locations from across the UK who will work in partnership with Homewards to tackle homelessness, making it rare, brief, and unrepeated.
Homewards is a new UK wide project that has been developed by Prince William and The Royal Foundation over the past two years alongside experts in the sector from across the world. The organisation’s goal is to highlight that homelessness can be stopped with the right support. This support will be given at a national and local level to Hill Street and the other five flagship locations through research, evaluation, funding, providing access to expertise and additional capacity. Homewards puts collaboration at the forefront of its approach, therefore, the six locations will form local coalitions made up of committed people, organisations and businesses, who will work together to create and deliver a plan to prevent homelessness. The project will run for five years, and at the end of the project, Homewardshopes that other districts across the UK could learn and utilise the methods adopted by the six locations to prevent homelessness in their local area. In turn, the organisation as well as the six flagship locations will help to raise awareness of the breadth and complexities of homelessness while also getting local communities involved in helping to stop homelessness. This will be achieved through campaigns and sharing people’s real lived experiences so that those who have lived without housing can have their voices heard.
What is Homelessness?
After the struggles we have all experienced over the last couple of years, from COVID-19 to financial crises, everyone deserves to know they have a safe place to return to at the end of the day. But the sad reality is that thousands of people across the UK don’t have this privilege. The Big Issue reported that in 2021 across England, Scotland and Wales, an estimated 227,000 people were “experiencing the worst forms of homelessness – rough sleeping, sleeping in vans and sheds, and stuck in B&Bs;” now in 2023, this number could rise to 300,000 on any given night. Shelter Cymru further elaborated that more than 15,000 people become homeless in every year in Wales, including 2,800 children. A few hundred of these individuals will be unable to find accommodation and be forced to live on the streets.
Although homelessness is so prevalent, not many people understand the full extent of what homelessness really is. There are several different types of homelessness:
- Rough sleeping – which is the most common stereotype of homelessness, is when an individual is forced to live on the streets and is vulnerable to developing drug and alcohol issues as well as being at a higher risk of being assaulted.
- Temporary accommodation – this could include hostels, B&Bs, shelters and private and social housing. Although these individuals are off the streets, they will often need to move from place to place which is not suitable for those supporting families.
- Hidden homelessness – one of the most vulnerable groups as they are hidden from statistics and services as they are deemed to be “dealing” with their situation. This typically involves staying with family and friends, sofa surfing or squatting.
- Statuary Homelessness – when local authorities can aid those at risk of homelessness or are homeless. Individuals are only eligible for this support if they lack a secure place to live or face conditions that make it difficult to stay.
As we can see, homelessness can manifest itself in many different ways and affect all different types of people. More awareness must be raised in order to support those who need a home most. It’s not enough to simply manage the problem, we need to work together to prevent and end homelessness in our communities. This is why Linc Cymru is working in partnership with Homewards.
Hill Street, Newport
Our Hill Street housing development was built, to help those without permanent housing in Newport. Hill Street is a residential building made up of 12 single occupancy flats arranged over two storeys with decking and balcony space, built with the help of our partners Newport City Council and Zed Pods. These apartments provide high-quality, pleasant and secure accommodation for people who have been, or are at risk of becoming homeless, and subsequently help them turn their lives around. Watch Hill Street’s development as well as hear Linc tenant, Eleri’s story of how our similar housing development on Alfred Street, Neath, helped her find confidence in herself.
As we can see from Eleri’s story, a home is more than just somewhere to rest your head at the end of the day. Having a safe and secure home is vital for general wellbeing as well as giving people the confidence to achieve their very best. Just like our Alfred Street housing development, Hill Street has also allowed its tenants to have access to more opportunities and a more secure lifestyle. Prince William got to see this first-hand when he visited Hill Street in June and had the opportunity to meet and speak with some of our Hill Street tenants. During these conversations, Prince William got to hear their lived experiences and the journey they have been on to get where they are today. Joining the Homewards project has allowed our tenants to have a platform to reach other individuals and families who may be going through the same thing as them; in turn, this raises awareness and ensures people at risk of having no housing feel seen, understood and have hope for their future. As Prince William said:
“Homewards aims to give people across the UK hope that homelessness can be prevented by showing them the progress we can make when we collaborate.
It’s a big task, but I firmly believe that by working together it is possible to make homelessness rare, brief and unrepeated, and I am very much looking forward to working with our six locations to make our ambition a reality.”
Everyone at Linc is incredibly excited to work alongside Homewards and the other flagship locations across the UK to help stop and prevent homelessness, together. Make sure to follow us along this journey to stay updated on our progress and discover ways to get involved in making homelessness rare, brief and unrepeated. For more information on how Linc can support you, get in touch for a chat.