Anne Main calls for more support for specialist homelessness services

20th December 2018

Anne Main calls for more support to help local authorities offer a more varied service for homeless people who cannot access existing services because of a dependency on alcohol or drugs.

I know that my right hon. Friend is a compassionate man who is concerned about the many routes that exist to being homeless. We have rough sleepers in St Albans, and, having talked to the council’s chief executive, I know for a fact that they have been approached to try to bring them in. Because of their addictions or drink problems they will not, or cannot, access the services that are on offer, as many of those services do not have a wet facility to allow people with either drink or drug habits to come in. What more can be done to help authorities offer a more varied service for those who cannot drop their dependencies and therefore cannot access many of the services that are on offer?

My hon. Friend makes a powerful and important point. We have asked NHS England to provide £30 million of funding over the next five years, specifically targeted in this arena, to provide a rapid audit of health service provision to rough sleepers, including mental health and substance misuse treatment. It is right that my hon. Friend makes this point and equally right that we act.

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