Contract success secures funding for project tackling homelessness

YWCA's Fleming GardensYWCA's Fleming Gardens
YWCA's Fleming Gardens
MORE than 250 vulnerable families will be able to access accommodation and support after a South Yorkshire charity secured funding for the next three years.

YWCA Yorkshire has been formally awarded a three-year contract, commissioned and funded by Rotherham Council, following a successful tender process which guarantees funding until 2027, with a further option to extend until 2029.

The charity has been the local authority’s provider of choice for the contract since May 2004.

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Through Fleming Gardens in Rotherham, YWCA Yorkshire currently offers housing-related support, parenting and life skills training to young families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in 20 properties provided by the charity and a partner housing association.

YWCA's Fleming GardensYWCA's Fleming Gardens
YWCA's Fleming Gardens

A specialist team of project workers also support 27 families in the community in their own tenancies.

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of homeless families in Rotherham have no family or friends who can accommodate them, according to the borough's Homelessness Prevention and Rough Sleepers Strategy 2023-2026, which also cites domestic violence, relationship breakdowns and poor subsequent mental health as key contributors to homelessness.

Seventy-one per cent of young women currently accessing Fleming Gardens report poor mental health, while almost two-thirds (64 per cent) are domestic abuse survivors.

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One Rotherham woman said she was “settled and safe and happy” following support from YWCA Yorkshire last year.

Chief executive Tracy Gollins, said: “This funding from the local authority means we will be able to support upwards of 250 families over the next three years.

“The people we support are some of the most vulnerable and most resilient in our communities and they deserve to be given every opportunity to thrive.”

Deputy leader of Rotherham Council, Cllr Sarah Allen, said: “Tackling homelessness in Rotherham requires strong partnerships and engagement with a variety of organisations, such as this one with YWCA Yorkshire.

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“We will continue to work to ensure that fewer people in Rotherham experience the trauma of homelessness and those who do can find a settled home quicker.”

YWCA Yorkshire currently supports more than 250 families in their own homes, the community, and through three housing projects in Rotherham, Sheffield and Doncaster.