Crisis chief executive to chair Scottish Government homelessness action group
Homelessness - Image credit: Press Association
The chief executive of a homelessness charity is to chair the Scottish Government’s homelessness and rough sleeping action group.
Crisis chief executive Jon Sparkes will chair the group, which was announced earlier this month by the First Minister as part of the programme for government, with the aim of eradicating rough sleeping completely.
Other members of the panel will be appointed shortly.
When it meets for the first time next month, the group will look at plans to minimise rough sleeping this winter and eradicate it for good, as well as ways to transform temporary accommodation and how to bring about an end to homelessness in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has today also announced a new £50m ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ fund, which will be used to fund homelessness prevention initiatives over the next five years.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “We want to see an end to rough sleeping and the appointment of our homelessness and rough sleeping action group will lead the way in recommending the actions and legislative changes we need to take across all levels of government, to tackle homelessness and the use of temporary accommodation.
“I am delighted to announce Jon Sparkes will chair the action group.
“Jon brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise in homelessness and will provide real value and leadership to the group.
“We are committed to eradicating rough sleeping in Scotland and know this requires more than just the provision of housing – every individual has their own unique needs and challenges.
“To achieve this we need to ensure we have a joined up approach across all sectors to improve prevention.
“Scotland has led the way in ensuring rights for homeless people and we want to continue to lead the way and transform the outcomes for those that feel they are stuck in a cycle of homelessness and poverty.”
Sparkes added: “It’s an honour to be asked to chair this action group which will bring forward solutions to help end homelessness in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government has rightly identified that a renewed effort is required to stop more people experiencing different forms of homelessness.
“Their £50 million ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ fund along with their commitment to end rough sleeping and transform the use of temporary accommodation will change people’s lives.
“I firmly believe we can end homelessness for good, we know the scale of the problem and this group will focus firmly on deliverable solutions which prevent, tackle and end homelessness for people.
“There’s some hard work to be done but I believe the expertise and knowledge of those on the group means we will be up to the challenge and I look forward to quickly getting to work.”