Edinburgh drastically cuts amount of rough sleepers

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​Figures show council's intervention methods are working 

6th July 2015 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

New statistics released by the Scottish Government show Edinburgh has the lowest amount of rough sleepers of any Scottish city.

Overall, the number of people presenting as homeless to the council has reduced by 15% over the last five years, with less than 3% of people now classed as rough sleepers.

Councillors say the figures show the capital’s strategy to combat homelessness is working.

This has been a result of partnerships with third sector organisations and a renewed focus on prevention, they say.

Housing leader, councillor Cammy Day, said: “These statistics are extremely encouraging and a tremendous achievement, not just for the council but for our partners in the third sector who work tirelessly to support homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless.

“While there is still much to be done, it is clear that Edinburgh’s homelessness strategy is helping us to move in the right direction and delivering real results. 

A great deal of work has been done by third sector organisations and the council in recent years - Iain Gordon

“All of this has been achieved despite a challenging economic climate and significant budget pressures.

“We have invested over £14 million this financial year to fund third sector support services and around another £11m on our own prevention services.  

“Protecting vulnerable people will continue to be our key priority and we are committed to reducing homelessness further across Edinburgh.”

An early intervention approach plays a vital role in the council’s homelessness strategy.

Each year, over 7,500 people are helped to find new homes as quickly as possible and provide support to help them keep their homes.

Iain Gordon, chief executive of Bethany Christian Trust and chair of the Strategic Homeless Action Partnership in Edinburgh (SHAPE), said: “It is encouraging to see indications that the number of people presenting as homeless in the city is reducing.

“A great deal of work has been done by third sector organisations and the council in recent years to address some of the root causes of homelessness as well as the distress that homelessness brings to the lives of some of the city’s most vulnerable people.

“SHAPE remains keen to work with the council to address increases in the level of support required by those who find themselves homeless and in the prevalence of repeat homelessness.”

7th July 2015 by Beth

A cursory read of the stats release suggests that the drastic fall in this measure of rough sleeping is in large part a recording issue, so hard to tell what real trends are. Bit of journalistic caution and balance and thorough research would be good. http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0048/00480524.pdf