Sturgeon reveals funding to help homeless at Christmas

A total of £328,000 will be spent on extra beds and assistance for outreach staff.

Nicola Sturgeon: The First Minister said she is taking 'immediate steps' to tackle homelessness. Danny Lawson / PA Wire

More than £300,000 will be spent trying to stop Scots being on the streets this Christmas.

The funding was announced by the First Minister on Tuesday following a report by the Scottish Government's homelessness and rough sleeping action group.

The panel published a number of recommendations including more emergency accommodation and help for frontline workers already engaged in helping homeless people already.

Nicola Sturgeon pledged to implement the recommendations immediately.

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The Scottish Government and partner organisations will spend an initial £328,000 on the project.

Key recommendations:

  • Increase temporary and emergency accommodation in Edinburgh during the winter from 60 to 75 and add an additional 12 rapid-access beds.
  • Increase outreach capacity in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen and see if additional capacity in Dundee is needed.
  • More engagement with homeless people and formerly homeless people to understand their personal circumstances and how to improve them.

Sturgeon said: "I want to thank the action group for the serious and urgent work they have done.

"These actions, which the government accepts in full and will roll out immediately, will provide more support for those who find themselves homeless and more safe and warm places to stay this winter.

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"We have a shared commitment to eradicate rough sleeping and end homelessness which is why we established the action group, backed by £50m to drive change.

"While we take these immediate steps to help those who find themselves at risk of rough sleeping this winter, the group's work now continues as we strive to end rough sleeping for good."

Jon Sparkes, who chaired the action group, said: "The decision to accept our recommendations and the fact that the First Minister is leading on the Scottish Government's commitment to accept our recommendations and provide additional funding is vitally important.

"Not only will this ensure plans are put into place as quickly as possible but it also inspires confidence that the leadership required to meet the long-term goal of ending homelessness in Scotland is in place."

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