The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, met with St Mungo’s clients and staff this weekend (Sunday 15 December) in his first visit since the general election.
The Secretary of State was shown around the charity’s hostel in Great Guildford Street, Southwark which is home to men and women who have been homeless or rough sleeping. Staff work to assess people’s options and find a safe route away from sleeping on the streets including accessing health, employment, benefits and advice services, and appropriate housing.
The Secretary of State spoke to four people who had been helped off the streets through St Mungo’s “floating hubs” services. One person told him how he has slept rough for several months in parks and derelict buildings before being helped through the StreetLink referral service, outreach and the floating hubs. He spoke movingly about how he had faced attacks and was fearful of not waking up as the weather got colder.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
“I was pleased to visit the St Mungo’s centre in Southwark over the weekend – it was good to hear from the people who use this vital service as well as the staff who work so hard to support those that need it most.
“In my role as Communities Secretary, I am committed to continuing to work with organisations such as St Mungo’s – who I congratulate on their 50th birthday and their ongoing commitment to supporting some of the most vulnerable in society – as we aim to end rough sleeping once and for all.”
Dominic Williamson, St Mungo’s Executive Director of Strategy and Policy, said:
“This was a welcome opportunity for the Secretary of State to meet St Mungo’s clients and staff and hear about the vital importance of homelessness services in supporting people’s recovery.
“We welcome the commitment in the Conservative manifesto to end the scandal of rough sleeping. This will take a significant new effort, a focus on preventing people sleeping rough in the first place, as well as helping those who do come off the streets and supporting them into a home for good. We look forward to working with the Government to ensure the right plans are in place along with the requisite funding, to make that happen.”