Shelter Conference comes to Plumer House

Housing and homelessness charity Shelter held a conference at Plumer House for their partners to discuss some of the key issues facing our region.

Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through advice, support and legal services. The conference held at Plumer House last year was such a success that those present reconvened to look at more issues affecting people in Plymouth including homelessness and Universal Credit.   

PATH (Plymouth Access to Housing) were one of the partners present and Chair Mike Taylor opened the conference, setting the scene for the day and introducing Alison Mohammed, Director of Services for Shelter who gave the delegates some important messages.

Alison said: “With Christmas not far round the corner I encourage people to think about the traditions that most of us take for granted and the stark contrast if you’re homeless or living in temporary accommodation. Christmas in particular brings home the point that so many people don’t have luxuries because of the homeless crisis.

“At Shelter we think positively about the difference that we can make. The lack of affordable housing in the South West and the introduction of universal Credit are causing more problems for people in the region. There are 11,000 homeless people in the South West which is a staggering figure.

“Homelessness is one of the most critical social issues of our time that we can’t tackle alone which is why I was so happy to see so many of our partner organisations present today, as one of Shelter’s values is ‘together’ and we need to work in partnership to deliver safe, affordable homes for people.”

Talks were given by Chris Hancock from Crisis who covered the Homelessness Reduction Act and Jo Prestige from Housing First which were broken up by workshops and discussion.

Matt Garrett, Head of Community Connections from Plymouth City Council spoke in the afternoon delivering his key messages and said: “I was delighted to be able to speak, especially to a room of passionate and engaged individuals, dedicated to finding solutions to homelessness in Plymouth.

“I believe that Plymouth City Council can be and should be a lead partner in this quest and I hope that by working together with our partners, collaborative problem solving and finding innovative solutions to the issues, together we can achieve this.”

Vicki Sampson, Hub Manager at shelter for Devon and Cornwall organised the conference and was pleased to see how many people attended and the impact it had on them. Vicki said: “It is vital that services across the city work in partnership to tackle bad housing and homelessness. Today’s event has highlighted much of the great work already going on, as well as providing the opportunity for networking and engagement.”.