I’ve had a great visit to the Nomad Opening Doors, a local homelessness charity who help provide accommodation to young homeless people. Founded in Pitsmoor in 1989, they’ve just moved into Sheffield Heeley and are now based at Norfolk Park.
I got to meet some of the staff and the clients they work with, and learn how their different services can help alleviate homelessness. Their SmartSteps programme helps single people aged 18-35 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, or struggle to access private sector housing to move into shared private accommodation, while also working with landlords to find suitable properties and support their tenancies.
They also work with clients to support them into employment and training, and help increase their personal independence.
I met with Fran Ockwell, a project manager at Nomad, who told me the charity is working to find a solution to the city’s housing crisis. We discussed some of the challenges Nomad faces, from the risk of young people entering the hidden homeless population, to the number of referrals they receive each year. They received 296 referrals last year, but are only able to deal with 75.
It’s been fantastic to see some of the important work Nomad do helping at-risk people find secure housing and gain some independence.