Today, ProxyAddress was launched to give homeless people a fixed address in Lewisham
I’m delighted to be able to share the news that Lewisham is taking part in a ground breaking pilot to help people experiencing homelessness to access support services through an innovative new approach.
We have been working closely with Proxy Address for a number of months to develop this service - which aims to fix the catch 22 of losing a permanent address by allowing those facing homelessness to “borrow” an existing address so they can access vital services.
Lewisham is the first council in the country to take part in this scheme which could make a huge difference to lives of people facing homelessness.
Losing your home means losing your address. But in 21st century Britain, an address is not just a location – it’s a de facto form of ID; without one, people experiencing homelessness can be prevented from accessing vital services like maintaining or opening a bank account, applying for a job or a driving license, accessing benefits, receiving post, or even registering with a GP.
ProxyAddress works by using the duplicated address details of existing homes to provide those facing homelessness with a consistent, secure, and free address which they can use to access the support they need.
ProxyAddresses are provided with explicit consent from property owners - including councils, housing associations, housing developers, and private donations, and some of the 225,000 long-term vacant homes in England - without impacting the original property’s credit score, value, or postal deliveries.
Just like the 800,000 letters sent in the UK each year to Santa’s Grotto in Reindeerland - which ultimately go to a sorting office in Belfast – for post, the ProxyAddress serves only as a routing instruction rather than a final destination. Mail addressed to a person at their ProxyAddress can be redirected to a collection point of their choosing, ensuring their details - and ability to access support - stay the same throughout the recovery journey, no matter how often they move. For Lewisham, the access point for post will be the 999 Club.
For further details of ProxyAddress and FAQs please visit the main ProxyAddress website at www.proxyaddress.co.uk