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Membership of expert group announced, work starts now.
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 today. One of their first tasks is to come up with urgent recomendations 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 authorties and the third sector, so we can harness the wealth of knowledge available.
“We are committeed 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. Today, 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 & ALACHO
Shona Stephen, Queens Cross Housing Association
Alison Watson, Shelter Scotland