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Street Zero is Seizing the Moment to End Rough Sleeping in Newcastle by Recognising the Support of the City

Over the weekend of 3rd July, a bright vibrant city centre installation made with over 2,000 balloons will mark every Newcastle resident and business who have pledged their support to end rough sleeping for good in the city by 2022.

The individual balloons will be emblazoned with names of those who have pledged online, as well as messages calling for Newcastle to be one of the first UK cities to end rough sleeping. The installation will be displayed in the windows of what was Starbucks on Grainger Street in the city centre, highlighting the scale of support for Street Zero’s mission.

The City Speaks campaign launched in May as a way for people and businesses to register their support for Newcastle - recognising the dedication and perseverance of the citywide partnership to make Newcastle a place where no one sleeps rough.

Early 2020, Street Zero launched Count Me In - a campaign calling upon Newcastle residents and the business community to pledge their name online and show their collective support. Since then, thousands have joined the countdown to zero and, this weekend, the city makes the final push towards ending rough sleeping in our city by 2022.

Street Zero Chairman, Bob Eldridge MBE said, “The City Speaks campaign marks a pivotal moment in our drive to end rough sleeping in Newcastle. It is remarkable to physically see the volume of people and the employers who want to see us achieve our goal. Year on year, we have seen a 74% reduction in the number of people sleeping on the streets. We are determined to make that zero by 2022, and we’re calling upon the people of Newcastle to continue to support us by pledging their name online, nothing more.

Street Zero is a not-for-profit partnership between the public, business, charities, and private and third sector organisations that are committed to working together to help people rough sleeping reconnect and make the step change into independent living. Recognised nationally as an exemplar in partnership working, Street Zero, launched in 2018, can attribute its success to its unique approach of bringing together experts from the full spectrum of support services across the city.

Tariq Albassam, NE1 Operations Director and Street Zero board member, said, “The power of the city speaking collectively with one strong voice is making a real difference and it’s incredibly moving to literally see the scale of support for ending rough sleeping in our city. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has pledged, as well as the retailer who kindly allowed us to use their site here on Grainger Street ahead of their new occupancy.”

Bob added, “The root causes of why people find themselves sleeping rough can affect anyone at any stage of their life - be it a relationship breakdown, job loss, violence, health difficulties, mental health, and many other traumatic experiences. By treating people with dignity, responding to their individual needs, and providing them with a long term safe and stable place to live, Newcastle is proactive in helping people transition to life away from the streets and sustain this change in the community. Our commitment is that everyone rough sleeping in Newcastle is offered accommodation or reconnection, where possible. We are leading the way and are confident we will end rough sleeping for good next year

To make your voice count, go to https://streetzero.org/get-involved/support-our-campaign/ to pledge your name. Nothing more.