We launched ReStart with Cross River Partnership to help Westminster residents who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to gain jobs, and at the same time support our customers with recruitment.
The social and economic impacts of homelessness affect not only the individuals but local communities and businesses too. We can play an active role in addressing this issue through our business activities, working with partners in the communities in which we operate to support homeless people into jobs.
The highest numbers of homeless people in the UK are to be found in the Borough of Westminster in London, where we manage a thriving portfolio, encompassing Regent Street and much of St James’s. This is therefore an important issue for our business, affecting our customers and local communities, as well as those at risk of homelessness.
Our ReStart project offers intensive support to unemployed Westminster residents who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This includes:
- Supporting vulnerable jobseekers referred via charities, Westminster City Council and Jobcentre Plus, coaching them on employability topics and building their confidence. We help them prepare for interviews, so they can overcome barriers to employment, gain sustainable jobs and create positive futures for themselves.
- Supporting businesses in London’s West End, including our customers in Regent Street and St James’s, by recruiting and training local jobseekers for their vacancies.
- Continuing to provide support to candidates and businesses for up to six months after a job is offered.
Homelessness is increasingly a social and economic issue for London, with more people in recent years sleeping on the streets, shuttling between emergency hostels and staying in expensive temporary accommodation. According to Government statistics, over 50,000 households were homeless and assigned to stay at temporary accommodation by local authorities in London in 2016 – a 6% increase on 2015.
 Department for Communities and Local Government: ‘Statutory homelessness and homelessness prevention and relief, July to September 2016’ (Dec 2016)