1 December 2017
Highlands & Islands Regional MSP, David Stewart has met with campaigners from the charity Shelter Scotland in the Scottish Parliament.
The charity brought its campaign Homelessness: Far From Fixed to Holyrood to highlight the human cost of homelessness and to call for urgent action tackling both the causes and the consequences.
Shelter Scotland campaigners highlighted how a household becomes homeless every 19 minutes and gave each MSP local figures for their area showing how the shortage of housing and support is affecting every part of the country.
Scottish Government figures show the number of children in temporary accommodation is at a six year high and in the last full year for which figures are available there was an increase in people sleeping rough before applying for help from their local councils.
David said ,
“Homelessness is a very real issue in Scotland and I note that the majority of rough sleepers are white young males of Scottish ethnicity.
“Homelessness can result from any set of life circumstances be it loss of a job, relationship breakdown or financial.
“In this day and age we should strive to ensure that no one has to sleep rough on our streets and I will do all I can to support the agencies working in this field.
“I would urge anyone facing homelessness to seek help immediately from their Local Authority in the first place.”
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said:
“I am heartened to see MSPs, including David Stewart show support for our campaign by taking the time to talk to us in parliament and find out more about how the issue is affecting constituents.
“We are seeing new steps being taken, including the Scottish Government’s creation of a £50 million ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ fund and the launch of an action group on homelessness but we really need MSPs from across the political spectrum to work together with us to make an even bigger difference.”
Shelter Scotland has submitted its recommendations for action to the Scottish Government Action group on homelessness and rough sleeping.
The Far From Fixed campaign’s four main demands are:
· A safe and affordable home for everyone
· Help is available for everyone to keep or find a home
· A strong housing safety net to catch people if they do lose their home
· And, that no-one should ever have to sleep rough on Scotland’s streets