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Action on homelessness and rough sleeping

Membership of expert group announced.

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Work to address the challenges of rough sleeping, and how temporary accommodation can best be utilised, is now underway.

The short-term Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group, announced in the Programme for Government last month, met for the first time yesterday. One of its first tasks is to suggest urgent recommendations to minimise rough sleeping this winter.

The group, which draws on expertise from across the sector, will examine how the Scottish Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping can be achieved and how best a new £50 million fund can support this.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group will be recommending immediate steps we can take to minimise rough sleeping, both this winter and for good, as well as ways to transform temporary accommodation.

“The members bring a wide range of expertise, experience and enthusiasm, and I know they will provide invaluable advice. The group will be engaging with all partners who deal with homelessness, including in local authorities and the third sector, so we can harness the wealth of knowledge available.

“We are committed to ending rough sleeping, preventing homelessness, and transforming outcomes for those who experience it. The action group and the new £50 million fund are important steps in achieving this.”

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis and chair of the new action group, said:

“I am delighted to be working with such a dedicated and knowledgeable group of people who have the common goal of ending homelessness in Scotland.

“Our focus is on action that can be taken this winter to support as many rough sleepers as possible so that fewer people have to face the coldest months of the year without a roof over their heads.

“The Scottish Government has set us an ambitious goal, but I am confident that with the invaluable experience of this group, combined with the views of people who have experience of homelessness, we can – and will – make all forms of homelessness a thing of the past.”

Membership of the Action Group includes: 

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive, Crisis (Chair)

Russell Barr, Former Moderator, Church of Scotland

Maggie Brunjes, Glasgow Homeless Network

Mike Dailly, Govan Law Centre

David Duke, Street Soccer

Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Heriot Watt University

Josh Littlejohn, Social Bite

Lorraine McGrath, Simon Community/Street Wise

Susanne Miller, Glasgow City Council

John Mills, Fife Council and ALACHO

Shona Stephen, Queens Cross Housing Association

Alison Watson, Shelter Scotland

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