Ensuring everyone has a safe and secure place they can call home is a primary need and from which healthy communities grow.
Homelessness comes in all shapes and sizes and includes rough sleeping, people living in temporary accommodation perhaps under the threat of eviction or domestic violence or inadequate accommodation. Ensuring everyone has a safe and secure place they can call home is a primary need and from which healthy communities grow into strong sustainable communities where everyone has the opportunity to contribute.
This new Forum is being developed to bring together the many organisations in Jersey who each are committed to tackling homelessness in the island. We aim to foster partnership between the voluntary and community sector, housing providers and government to work together strategically for the benefit of those who find themselves homeless, or are at risk of homelessness, and in turn for the benefit of Jersey as a whole.
Following the 2018 Jersey Election, the Minister for Children and Housing expressed a desire to tackle the issue of homelessness in Jersey as one of his priorities. This is consistent with the Council of Ministers Statement of Common Strategic Policy 2018–2022, this includes a priority to reduce income inequality and improve the standard of living for Islanders.
In December 2018 a workshop of community organisations was held to consider the issues of homelessness in Jersey and the need for a new strategic approach. Following this first session, further meetings of community organisations have taken place and will continue to take place to form the Jersey Homelessness Cluster.
In May 2019, a project Board was formed to develop closer partnership and collaboration between community groups and the Government of Jersey. This Board is expected to exist for at least 12 months as the strategy for tackling homelessness in Jersey is developed and agreed. The Board has appointed a chair and vice-chair independent of the Government of Jersey and any community organisation.