MPs pledge to help end rough sleeping

St Mungo's Chief Executive Howard Sinclair with Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
St Mungo’s Chief Executive, Howard Sinclair with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid

MPs and peers from across the main political parties pledged to help end rough sleeping at a St Mungo’s event in Parliament yesterday, Wednesday 29 November.

More than 80 guests, including St Mungo’s clients, parliamentarians and charity representatives, met in the House of Commons to discuss the government’s commitment to end rough sleeping, with Communities Secretary Sajid Javid MP and Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey MP attending.

Today, 30 November, Mr Javid announced a new Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel. This panel will be made up of homelessness experts – including Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s – from organisations including charities and local government.

The Panel will “support the Ministerial Taskforce, which brings together ministers from key departments to provide a cross-government approach to preventing rough sleeping and homelessness.”

Over 50 MPs and peers attended the St Mungo’s Parliamentary event, hosted by Mary Robinson, MP for Cheadle. The aim was to learn more about rough sleeping and what MPs can do to help end rough sleeping in their constituencies.

Homelessness Minister Marcus Jones, who will chair the Panel, was also there to listen to clients of St Mungo’s talking about their experiences and their journeys out of rough sleeping.

Rough sleeping has increased by 134% over the last five years across England. Recent figures revealed that 8,108 people were seen rough sleeping in London in 2016-17.

Announcing the Panel, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “No one should ever have to sleep rough. That’s why this government is committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it altogether by 2027.

“To break the homelessness cycle once and for all, we all need to work together, drawing on as much expertise and experience as we can. The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Implementation Taskforce and the Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel, together with the three Housing First pilots, are important steps in making that happen.”