New £100m plan to end rough sleeping within a decade
Theresa May vows to help homeless people ‘turn their lives around’
The Government is launching a £100m plan to halve rough sleeping in England by 2022 and eradicate it by 2027.
Theresa May said that the Rough Sleeping Strategy would not only combat homelessness but also help rough sleepers “turn their life around”, by offering them support for mental health and addictions, and funding for housing, reports the BBC.
The new plan - to be officially unveiled by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire today - will take a three-pronged approach of prevention, intervention and recovery, with the focus on “efforts to stop people becoming homeless in the first place”, according to ITV News.
About £50m will be spend on homes outside London for those who are ready to move on from hostels or refuges, and £30m for mental health support and treatment for substance misuse.
Homelessness has been rising for the past seven years, with an average of around 4,750 people estimated to have been sleeping rough each night in 2017.
The prime minister said: “Nobody should have to sleep rough, and that’s why we must do all we can to help the most vulnerable in our society get the support they need.
”But we recognise this is a complex issue - as well as ensuring people have somewhere to live, we have to deal with underlying problems and ultimately help people turn their lives around.
“The strategy launched today will help us act to prevent rough sleeping before it happens and make sure targeted support is reaching those that need it.”
Homelessness charities have welcomed the plan, but warn that more action is needed to provide a total fix.
Howard Sinclair, chief executive of St Mungo’s Homeless Charity, told Sky News that “£100m won’t end rough sleeping by 2027 - it will take more than that”.
He added: “But it’s a good start. The money is welcome, it’s already being expended in the areas in the country where rough sleeping is at its worst.
“This new plan shows the Government is committed to ending rough sleeping and making a real difference.”