Cash boost to make ‘real difference’ to rough sleepers

The Scottish Government has announced £50,000 of cash to provide more emergency beds for rough sleepers in Edinburgh this winter.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said the funds would “go towards projects that will make a real difference”.

The money is part of £370,000 the Government is providing to local councils and the voluntary sector to improve support for vulnerable Scots this winter.

Part of the money will go to street teams, allowing them to spend small amounts of cash to help those in need.

The charity the Simon Community will also get investment to develop a project looking at what can be done to help homeless people with pets.

The cash means the Scottish Government has provided £918,000 in total to frontline projects dealing with rough sleepers in the last 12 months.

Mr Stewart said: “Last winter we experienced some of the harshest weather we have seen in a long time.

“Local authorities and organisations on the frontline work tirelessly all year round to help those on the streets but this comes to a head in the winter to safeguard people in crisis from the cold.

“Today’s funding announcement will mean £918,000 in total has been spent on frontline outreach by the Scottish Government and third sector partners since November 2017.

“We’re focusing the money on expanding things that were proven to work last year as well as testing new approaches.”

The minister added: “We don’t want anybody to be homeless and the focus in our Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan is on supporting people into settled accommodation and homelessness prevention.

“However, we also want those that find themselves on the streets to have the support they need. This money will go towards projects that will make a real difference.”