Making a real difference to homelessness
YOU need only walk the high streets of towns and cities across Scotland to see that homelessness and rough sleeping are a growing problem.
The debate about the policies that did or did not contribute to the crisis will continue among politicians.
Charities are doing their utmost with limited resources. It’s time for the Scottish Government to step up.
A taskforce hastily organised by Housing Minister Kevin Stewart made 70 recommendations.
This taskforce heard from hundreds of people who had experienced homelessness.
The Scottish Government could not ignore their concerns about Scotland’s approach to homelessness and accepted all 70 recommendations in principle.
The Housing Minister has now committed to a housing-led approach and councils are working on rapid rehousing transition plans which will overhaul the way they respond to homelessness.
They will soon prioritise permanent, mainstream housing and the support people need, rather than focusing on temporary accommodation (which is not always available, despite a statutory obligation).
However, as charities Crisis and the Simon Community point out in The Herald on Sunday today, there must be firm commitments and timescales on several key issues.
It is hoped the Scottish Government’s plan to tackle homelessness – to be published this week – will provide just that.
The ability to end homelessness for good is in the gift of Scottish ministers, if they are willing to grasp the nettle.