Church of Scotland moderator and housing minister to address homelessness uncertainties

Rev Dr Russell Barr
Rev Dr Russell Barr

The moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and minister for local government and housing Kevin Stewart MSP will both address the autumn event of Scottish Churches Housing Action in Edinburgh on Friday 7 October.

The seminar, entitled Homelessness in Scotland: the challenges of uncertainty, will focus on how the current changing and challenging economic and political climate affects people going through homelessness.

Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr has made homelessness a key theme of his year as moderator. The founding chairman of homelessness charity Fresh Start in Edinburgh in 1999, he has a long-standing commitment to ensuring that people going through homelessness are welcomed into our communities.

Dr Barr said: “For the majority of people homelessness is a very difficult stage in their life but with the appropriate help and support they are able to pick up the threads of life again. Sadly despite all our best efforts the numbers of people being registered as homeless remains the same as it was 20 years ago. I think we can do better and I am hoping the conference will point us in the right direction.”

The event, to be held in the offices of the Church of Scotland at 121 George St in Edinburgh, will attract participants from the churches and homelessness charities, housing professionals and academics. It will be chaired by the convener of Scottish Churches Housing Action, Rev Graeme Wilson.

A discussion panel will include Prof Sarah Johnsen of Heriot-Watt University’s ISPHERE (Institute of Social Policy, Housing, Environment and Real Estate) and a representative of campaigning body the Living Rent Campaign.

The event will be followed by the Annual General Meeting of Scottish Churches Housing Action.

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