Today is World Homelessness Day and it is being marked in Pembrokeshire by the launch of a groundbreaking new project offering practical support to people who are at risk of losing their homes.
Pembrokeshire Action for the Homeless’ Numeracy Project has received £405,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, administered by Pembrokeshire County Council – and today marks its official launch.
A number of VIP guests, team members, clients and potential tutors gathered at PATH’s HQ in Picton Place, Haverfordwest today, to hear more about the work of the county’s leading homelessness charity – and how it is supporting both those who are homeless and those who are at risk of losing their homes and how the Numeracy Project fits in to its work tackling the causes of homelessness as well as its symptoms.
This innovative project will support the rising number of people at risk of homelessness to gain practical skills, and even qualifications, in maths-related topics, to help support them to keep their homes.
Michael Hooper, MD of Pembrokeshire Care Society – the county’s leading homelessness charity – said: “It’s well documented that poor budgeting skills are a big driver in people being made homeless.
“This project targets the often hard-to-reach individuals adversely economically and/or socially affected. Learners will be supported throughout the programme with access to tutors and mental health counsellors, to encourage engagement and retention.
“Shockingly, more than half of all adults haven’t reached entry level standard – that’s the minimum required for primary school aged children.”
The funding comes from the UK Government’s Multiply initiative – which is a part of the overall Levelling-Up money – and is specifically targeted at projects that help to improve the nation’s maths skills.
The PATH project will target those hard-to-reach individuals to improve their basic levels of numeracy and will develop their practical skills through a combination of 1:1 teaching, group work and online tutoring.
Homelessness in Pembrokeshire has risen by more than 500 per cent in the last five years – and for many of these people rent arrears and other debt have been a primary cause. “PCS wants to tackle this problem at source – equipping people at risk of homelessness with the tools to manage their money better and so help them avoid the threat of losing their homes,” said Mr Hooper.
The Numeracy Project will be based at the charity’s newly-converted premises in Market Street, Haverfordwest, where clients can be facilitated by a team of professional tutors, alongside the charity’s existing mental health counselling services – offering a one-stop shop that will help the engagement and retention of participants.
However learning will be tailored to the individual needs of the learner – so teaching could also take place at outreach centres across the county or online or even in the learner’s’ own home.
“What makes this project so special is that each learning programme will be tailored to the individual needs of the client, making learning as accessible as possible – all underpinned with the support of our in-house and trained mental health counsellors, providing a truly holistic learning experience,” said Dean Flood, senior tutor.
Anyone who wants to know more about accessing learning through the PATH Numeracy Project should contact the charity on 01437 765335 or email PCS@pembrokeshirecaresociety.org.uk