Prince William is highlighting the plight of the homeless, underlining that his support is not waning despite his change in royal role as Prince of Wales.
On Tuesday, William visited the London hub of Depaul — an organization founded in 1989 that works in local communities across the U.K. to prevent and relieve the impact of homelessness on people’s lives.
William was inspired to help the homeless by his late mother Princess Diana, who took him and his brother Prince Harry to homeless shelters to learn more about the issue. William is now patron of two charities, The Passage and Centrepoint (the latter of which he followed his late mother Princess Diana in supporting).
In fact, Diana visited Depaul three times — in 1990, 1993 and 1995 — opening the first Depaul Trust Hostel in Willesden in June 1995.
During his visit on Thursday morning, the prince met with staff and spoke to clients, past and present. He heard how the charity’s support services include medium-long term supported accommodation, and support that helps young people access education and employment and manage their mental health and wellbeing.
William was also updated on the charity’s innovative homelessness prevention services, from educational workshops in schools to family support and mediation. It also has an award-winning Nightstop service that provides same-night emergency accommodation in the homes of trained and vetted hosts across the U.K.
For his 40th birthday last June, William took part in an interview for The Big Issue, which supports homeless people, and even sold copies on the streets of London.
In his opinion piece for The Big Issue, William said: “I refuse to believe that homelessness is an irrevocable fact of life. It is an issue that can be solved, but that requires a continued focus and comprehensive support network,” he wrote.
The Prince of Wales’s office says that Depaul shares that ethos, delivering workshops with schools to provide young people with the knowledge and skills they need to meet their challenges and prevent youth homelessness. Depaul also works with the government, local authorities, religious groups and other NGOs to develop new ways of responding to homelessness.[via]