New Homelessness Minister visits Changing Lives in York - My CMS

Changing Lives welcomed new Homelessness Minister, and MP for Selby and Ainsty, Nigel Adams MP, to their accommodation project on Union Terrace in York this week to share their experience of supporting some of the most vulnerable people in the city.

Changing Lives, a national charity which has emergency accommodation centres on Union Terrace and Walmgate in York city centre, met with Homelessness Minister Nigel Adams MP to discuss the support they provide for people stuck in cycles of homelessness and rough sleeping in the city.

Adams met with Changing Lives’ CEO, Stephen Bell OBE, and staff who support people living in the accommodation project, to find out more about how the charity supports some of the most vulnerable people in the York area to take positive steps towards a brighter future.

The Homelessness Minister was also given a tour of the facilities at Changing Lives’ supported accommodation project on Union Terrace in York, which provides 39 bed spaces for men at risk of homelessness.

Stephen Bell OBE, who has been CEO of Changing Lives since 2002, said:

“We are grateful to Nigel Adams MP for taking a proactive approach in his new role as Homelessness Minister, and taking the time to meet with us in York to find out about the work we do to prevent the cycles of homelessness.

The meeting provided us with the opportunity to share the work that we are proud of in York, helping people who are often excluded from other services and facing extreme adversity. It was also an opportunity to express our concerns about the future and the challenges faced by our sector, which we hope the Minister will consider in future policy announcements.”

Homelessness Minister, Nigel Adams MP, said:

“It was a privilege to see and learn more about the great work of Changing Lives. The team is having a positive impact on so many people in its thoughtful and proactive approach to tackling homelessness.

“The Government is determined to help the most vulnerable in society to break out of homelessness and re-build their lives. We are working hard to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it by 2027.”

The pair discussed challenges facing the charity sector and other organisations working to end homelessness, such as changes to the benefits system and the roll-out of Universal Credit.

Changing Lives has been supporting people in York since 2012. The charity delivers drug and alcohol services in partnership with Spectrum Community Health CIC, and provides a 12-week day treatment service as an alternative to residential rehabilitation.

As well as providing direct access accommodation to people experiencing homelessness in the city, Changing Lives also provides community outreach support to people entrenched in rough sleeping, and support for people facing discharge from hospital with nowhere to go.

Changing Lives is a national organisation, based in the North East of England, which supports over 17,500 people each year change their lives for the better.

Nigel Adams has been an MP for Selby and Ainsty since 2010, and was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in May 2018.

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