Heather Wheeler, Homelessness Minister, visited our centre on 28th February, one of the coldest days of the year, to find out more about the services we provide in Westminster to help people address their homelessness, and achieve recovery.
Heather received a tour of our building, to see the service provision in full swing, and met with frontline staff who deliver our specialist day and night services to over 200 people a day.
She had an opportunity to talk some of the people affected by homelessness, and find out what challenges we face to help people move away from the streets.
Charlotte Talbott, Director of Services, said:
“We were delighted that Heather took an interest in our work, and wanted to learn more about the services we provide. Homelessness has more than doubled in the last seven years, and it’s important that we work together with the government to find solutions for marginalised people. Our service users have skills, strengths and assets and we work with, not for, them to address the root causes of their homelessness and to achieve their potential.
“One of the pressing concerns is a lack of suitable and affordable housing which stalls people’s recovery and we’d like to see more options available for people. We’d also like to see the introduction of a specialist clinical drug and alcohol service for homeless people in the borough, which is accessible to everyone who needs it and allows people to address this important underlying cause of homelessness, and recover.”
Homelessness Minister Heather Wheeler said:
“It was great to visit The Connection at St. Martin-in-the-Fields and see first-hand the critical work they do supporting people sleeping rough in London. They provide an impressive range of services and support that highlight that those people sleeping rough need more than just a roof over their heads.
“Government remains committed to supporting expert organisations like The Connection and delivering on our mission to halve rough sleeping by 2022, and eliminate it by 2027. To achieve this aim, we are investing £1bn to tackle all forms of homelessness, and we are bringing in the most ambitious reforms in decades this spring with our Homelessness Reduction Act.”