PCC welcomes Government COVID19 funding to tackle homelessness
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson has welcomed an announcement that the Government has pledged £105 million to tackle homelessness in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic.
But he has called for further detail to be released to understand how this money will reach charities and organisations at a local level.
This week the Government announced that it would be providing £105 million to fund interim support and accommodation, in the hope that it will help keep 15,000 vulnerable people off the streets.
It comes following earlier pledges of £63 million for local authorities to help those struggling to afford food and other essentials, as well as £6 million for homelessness charities to allow them to continue their work supporting rough sleepers.
However, although Mr Macpherson has applauded the Government for this financial commitment, he wants more detail to be released so we can understand how this money will directly help people in Swindon and Wiltshire.
He said: "As life is tentatively beginning to return to normal - albeit a new kind of normal - it is time for us to start considering what this brave new world will look like.
"The stark truth is that the future looks very uncertain for many people. The recent news that the UK economy had shrunk by a record 20 per cent in April was a worrying reminder of how tough things could get over the coming months.
"For many, a future of financial hardship and unemployment could be just around the corner, so it is important that we, as a society, start pulling together to protect the most vulnerable.
"It is essential that those who have been accommodated in hotels during the crisis are suitably housed with ongoing support for issues such as drug and alcohol addiction, mental health and coping strategies. A home is the foundation on which to truly change lives."
He added: "Throughout my time as police and crime commissioner, and in my life before I took this office, I have been a passionate and active supporter of local good causes, particularly charities which work with the homeless.
"I know what good work is already going on in our communities to help those most in need and I am committed to continuing my support in any way possible.
"That is why I am keen to see more detail about how this money will directly help some of the most vulnerable people in Swindon and Wiltshire, and I want to ensure that those charities and organisations already supporting so many people, get the money they need to continue their life-changing and life-saving work.
"I am also launching my Covid-19 response fund in recognition of those community and voluntary organisations who have been impacted by coronavirus.
"The fund, which will be distributed by the Wiltshire Community Foundation, will help those organisations who are struggling to meet their costs or keep those organisations going, and those who are continuing to help the community at this difficult when it is most needed."
Information about this response fund will be published on the PCC website in the near future.