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John Campion, The West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner has welcomed the Government’s proposals to reduce homelessness and the £100 million national investment in tackling the complex issues which surround it.

As part of the commissioner’s plans to keep communities safe, he has invested locally in a number of projects to help homeless people including:

  • HIITS in Worcestershire who give homeless young people the opportunity to learn valuable life skills and gain qualifications.
  • Drug addiction services including Addaction in Herefordshire and Shropshire, Telford STaRS, Swanswell in Worcestershire and Shropshire Recovery Partnership.
  • YSS who help refer young people who have become homeless to housing services.

In Shrewsbury, partners including West Mercia Police, Shropshire Council, ARK and the Shrewsbury Street Pastors came together to set up HOST (Homeless Outreach Street Triage) to visit people on the streets, fast track help and support and promote Alternative Giving Schemes. They were given a commendation award for their success which included reducing the number of homeless people on the streets into single figures and helping an elderly man who had been homeless for 40 years find accommodation.

Commissioner John Campion said “Homelessness should not be acceptable in a modern society. I welcome the national investment which is taking a holistic approach around the wider complex drivers to homelessness, such as mental health and addictions.

Homelessness is primarily an issue for local authorities. However some of the wider issues associated to homelessness can be linked to crime and anti-social behaviour and I will continue my work to tackle those issues, with the investments I’ve made at a local level helping those genuinely in need.”

Issued: Monday 13th August 2018