New rough sleeping strategy must mark a turning point in tackling rough sleeping
St Mungo’s has welcomed the Government’s new rough sleeping strategy as a potential “turning point” in meeting its manifesto pledge to end rough sleeping by 2027.
St Mungo’s, a leading provider of rough sleeper outreach, hostels and recovery services, has been calling for a long-term commitment to end rough sleeping as part of its two year Stop the Scandal campaign. It wants to see more long-term solutions to help people rebuild their lives away from the street for good, especially when it comes to providing enough stable, safe and affordable housing.
Howard Sinclair, St Mungo’s Chief Executive, said: “Rough sleeping is harmful, dangerous and dehumanising and we share the Government’s aim that no one should have to sleep rough. This strategy is a really important first step towards meeting the Government’s 2027 target to end rough sleeping and shows they are serious about understanding the problem and getting the right support to people at the right time.
“St Mungo’s looks forward to working with the Government to make sure this new rough sleeping strategy marks a turning point in tackling rough sleeping in our country.
“After campaigning for a new rough sleeping strategy with our Stop the Scandal campaign, St Mungo’s has been pleased to support the development of the strategy. As a member of the Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel, I am encouraged that the Government has taken on board many of its recommendations. I welcome the initial investment in outreach, in health services for people who sleep rough and in new models of emergency accommodation to help people before they reach the street. It’s also good to see that steps will be taken to meet the specific needs of different groups, including women, non-UK nationals and LGBT people who sleep rough.
“Since 2010 the number of people sleeping rough in England has risen by 169%. Over that time the number of people dying on the streets has also increased.
“Tragically, for too many people, rough sleeping costs them their life and so the commitment to ensure more reviews when someone dies while rough sleeping is also really important.
“Throughout this process I have been clear that this needs to be a truly cross-government effort and offer long-term solutions to help people rebuild their lives away from the street for good, especially when it comes to providing enough stable, safe and affordable housing.”
St Mungo’s is one of a number of housing and homelessness organisations on the Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel that informed the strategy, and who have today issued a joint statement in response to its publication.