LONDON — LONDON (AP) – Prince William launched a five-year project to end homelessness in the United Kingdom on Monday, saying he wants to ensure that cases where people are left out without a roof is “rare, short, and non-repetitive.”
The heir to the throne kicked off the initiative by visiting pilot projects that have received grants of up to £500,000 ($637,000) each from the Royal Foundation, the charity that supports assist William and his wife, Kate.
All initiatives, including many more to be announced on Tuesday, involve collaborative efforts among locals, organizations and businesses to develop tailored programs. with the needs of their community.
“It is a big task, but I firmly believe that by working together, homelessness can be made rare, brief and non-repetitive, and I look forward to working with six our venue to make our ambitions a reality,” William said in a statement.
The initiative, called Homewards, hopes to learn from the example of countries like Finland, which have largely eliminated homelessness, in part by ensuring that people in crisis receive housing. long-term stay as a first step before trying to tackle other problems like substance abuse, says William.
William announced the plan as rising rents and a shortage of affordable housing push more people into homelessness amid the steepest drop in living standards since World War II. Recent research indicates that more than 300,000 people across the UK do not have a permanent home on any given night, including those who have to sleep on the streets, live in cars, stay in dormitories or temporary accommodation. seek help from family and friends, Homewards said.
The prince said he first learned about homelessness when he visited a shelter with his mother, Princess Diana, when he was 11.
“I have met so many extraordinary people and heard so many heartbreaking personal stories,” he said while visiting a mental health charity in south London. “Too many people have found themselves without a stable and lasting place to call home.”
Matt Downie, chief executive of charity Crisis, said Britain needed to focus on new ways to get people off the streets, because the current system puts people in “temporary” accommodation. like hostels and bed and breakfasts are costing billions of pounds a year. year and inactive.
“The best way to tackle homelessness is to prevent it from happening in the first place,” says Downie. “We’ve seen it in other countries like Finland, where homelessness is almost over, and we’ve seen it work through change programs. new to provide housing for people first.”
This is not the first time William has focused on the fight against homelessness. In 2009, he highlighted the issue by sleeping on the streets of south London, and last year it was discovered he was selling Big Issue, a magazine supporting the homeless, on London street.
But some have questioned how one man came to own luxury properties, including a flat at Kensington Palace, a cottage near Windsor Castle and a home on the Sandringham estate of the king, can actually understand the matter. As Prince of Wales, he also controls the Principality of Cornwall, about 52,000 hectares (128,500 acres) of land mainly in South West England.
In a recent interview with London’s Sunday Times newspaper, William admitted that he was “one of the most unlikely supporters of this ideal.”
But when asked if there are any plans to bring affordable housing into the Duchy of Cornwall, he replied: “Sure.”
“Social housing,” he told the Times. “You’ll see that when it’s ready. I’m not a policy expert, but I’ll push it where I can.”