Can there be anything worse than the prospect of losing one’s home during a bitter winter or chilly spring, let alone in the midst of a pandemic..
Let’s all hope that everything possible is being done to tackle rough sleeping on Bristol’s streets this year… homelessness is a complex issue and there is no magic bullet but there are things that are proven to work.
During 2020 we witnessed the “Everyone In” scheme as a response to rough sleeping – with local hotels being used to house people who would otherwise be out in the cold.
Bristol City Council went further than the Everybody In campaign by committing to hotel provision for people for longer than the government did, with many of these people now helped into long term housing. This demonstrated how we can take action to tackle homelessness effectively and remove street homelessness all together with the right support in place.
However, despite the success, we see that only limited government funding is being made available to continue supporting council efforts to tackle the problem, instead of fully implementing the scheme that worked so well last year.
Why is that? – when it’s clear what works – when there is a clear strategy, political will and with the necessary funding to support it.
If I succeeded in becoming a local councillor, I would be proud to be part of a council already committed to ending homelessness, but that this is only achievable with the right funding in place from the government, and we must ask them to do more.
Wouldn’t it be great if 2021 was the year when homelessness really became a thing of the past?
Labour Councillor Candidate for Knowle