Archbishop launches homelessness initiative in York
The Archbishop of York has launched a new initiative to address homelessness in the city.
Dr John Sentamu launched the 'No Second Night Out' initiative at The Salvation Army, Gillygate.
'No Second Night Out' aims to be the link between the homeless, the communities they come from, and the agencies that are able to offer help.
The support includes helping rough sleepers to access emergency accommodation and healthcare, and finding long-term solutions to their homelessness.
Members of the public are also being encouraged to play an active role by calling a helpline - 0300 500 0914 - if they see a rough sleeper. The Salvation Army will then attempt to make contact with the rough sleeper and offer them support.
In addition to The Salvation Army, the 'No Second Night Out' scheme has been developed with the Peasholme Charity, Arc Light, City of York Council, the Foundation, YACRO, Restore and Richmond Fellowship.
Speaking at the launch, the Archbishop said the initiative would provide better choices for people facing homelessness.
"Homelessness is a problem which forces us to reconsider the values on which we are building our society," he said.
"The idea behind it is not just to take people off the streets, to 'sweep them out of sight'. Rather it is to move quickly to find a place of safety for those without a home and, where possible to reconnect them to their own community.
"In this way those helpful links which have been broken may be rebuilt and restored, before the dislocation becomes too great. Our role is to be the connectors with the homeless, the communities they come from, and the agencies who can offer help."