Scottish Government delivers actions to tackle rough sleeping

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a visit to Streetwork in November

Additional capacity for night shelters and extra staff to help get more people into accommodation are among the actions being taken to tackle rough sleeping this winter.

Recommendations to tackle the issue were made by the Scottish Government’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group in November, and immediately accepted by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Since then, and backed by £328,000 investment from Scottish Government, Action Group members and their partners, organisations have worked to implement a number of actions, which include:

  • An increase to the Bethany Christian Trust night shelter capacity for the winter period in Edinburgh
  • The Night Stop service, which already operates in Edinburgh, will start in Glasgow
  • Flexible funding allocated to front-line teams to enable them to explore other options with people
  • Outreach capacity expanded across the main cities, with additional staff to reach out to and support those sleeping rough
  • Winter survival packs made available, as a last resort, to keep safe those people who do not take up other options
  • Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “It is encouraging to see the actions needed to tackling rough sleeping this winter have been implemented at such a rapid pace. I am thankful to the organisations and councils that have been leading on this for their timely response.

    “These immediate actions will ensure more safe and warm places to stay, and extra support for those who may find themselves at risk of rough sleeping this winter.

    “Of course, our work does not stop here and the Group will now be looking at how we can end rough sleeping for good. We are absolutely committed to eradicating rough sleeping and ending homelessness – which is why we established the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group, backed by £50 million over five years to drive change.”

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