Croydon: A European vision for 2020

Monday, 8 August 2016 - 11:59am

With rough sleeping rising and ever more pressure being piled on the sector, providers in Croydon have taken the great step of coming together to look at what other solutions there might be.

Under the banner CR Zero 2020 providers in Croydon have become part of the European Cities campaign to end rough sleeping. Together they, with a team of volunteers, will take to the street to really find out why people come to the streets, what their hopes and fears are in moving off, and ultimately develop a personalised solution for each one!

It’s a bold ambition and is likely to be a difficult journey but one that has the potential to change the way we approach this ambition going forwards. Mark McPherson, Director of Strategy, Partnership and Innovation at Homeless Link explains more:

So what is it?

CR Zero 2020 is part of a European Campaign to End Street Homelessness. Based on similar campaigns in the USA (100,000 Homes Campaign), part of Canada and Australia. The campaign in the USA won the Building Social Housing Foundation’s World Habitat Award and now several European Cities have come together to look at whether a similar campaign could have an impact in Europe.

Croydon is one of the early adopters in this campaign and a group of local organisations have come together to plan it. People involved are:

Evolve – they are the leading provider of accommodation in the borough and lead on the campaign locally.

Crisis – who are opening a Sky Light and see many of the people that we will need to speak to. They provide a volunteer base and a public credibility.

Thames Reach – A pan London provider, they provide outreach service in Croydon and will ensure we can reach our target audience.

Expert Link – will bring the expertise of those experiencing homelessness in Croydon

Homeless Link – the national membership body who will support the organisation, act as critical friend and bring learning from across the country about what works.

London Borough of Croydon – who support this campaign and provide vital links into statutory services.

There will be lots of opportunities for more people to work with us on this as we move forward.

How does it work?

The campaign starts with a group of volunteers working with existing outreach services to get to know the rough sleepers in the local area. They do this by going out onto the streets and talking to people over the course of a week.

At the end of the week the volunteers and other stakeholder come together to look at what they found out. This is more than just data collecting, but includes information about the issues that got people to the street and the barriers they experience in getting off the streets.

One of the key characteristics of this way of working is having a range of volunteers from different walks of life. In other cities we have found that by having this experience it helps us to think differently and therefore create different solutions and use resources better.

How can you be involved?

We are now seeking volunteers to help raise awareness of this campaign. If you are interested, please click here to find out more.

CR Zero 2020 Project Info Final