Good Shepherd CEO Tom Hayden was delighted to be invited to attend a parliamentary reception with Homeless Link at the House of Lords, to mark the tenth anniversary of the StreetLink initiative.
StreetLink is a website, mobile app and phone service which enables people to send an alert when they see someone sleeping rough to connect that person to local support services to try and help them end their homelessness.
Hosted by Lord Best OBE DL, representatives of charities from across the country were present to share their thoughts and experiences, chat to several MPs, and listen to various presentations.
These included words from Anne McLoughlin, Homeless Link’s Chair of Trustees, Rick Henderson, Homeless Link’s CEO, Tom Copley, the Deputy Mayor of London for Housing and Residential Development, and Felicity Buchan MP, Minister for Housing and Homelessness.
There was also a hugely powerful testimony from Terry, a peer mentor at the P3 charity, talking about his own personal experiences of homelessness, being referred for support via StreetLink, and why it is so important we ‘Don’t Walk By’ when we see someone sleeping rough, a message promoted by Homeless Link.
“It was a privilege to represent the Good Shepherd by attending the reception at the House of Lords and marking ten years of StreetLink’s invaluable work,” said Tom.
“It was lovely to both catch up personally with people who I had met mainly on Zoom and Teams, as well as meeting new people, all of whom share the vision of improving the situation for those who are sleeping rough and aiming to provide pathways out of homelessness.
“The highlight was definitely the presentation given by Terry about his own experiences – it was so powerful and illustrated just why the service provided by StreetLink is so important and has had such a substantial impact over the last ten years.
“Being at the reception was also important in sharing experiences and learning new ideas that we can look into putting in place here at the Good Shepherd to ensure we are delivering the best possible service for the people in Wolverhampton who need us.”
It is estimated that in its ten years of operation, the StreetLink service has been used half a million times to help people who are sleeping rough to be connected to local support services.