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Homelessness charities welcome reduction in number of people sleeping rough in Milton Keynes
Depaul UK and Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership (MKHP) have welcomed new Government statistics indicating a 49 percent reduction in the number of people sleeping rough over the last 12 months in Milton Keynes, but have reiterated the need to do more.
Both charities applauded the efforts of the “emergency hotel” shelters established as part of the National Government’s Everybody In programme to protect people sleeping rough from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mark Robinson, Head of Prevention and Programmes, said: “While Depaul welcomes this reduction in the number of people sleeping rough, the government needs to do more to meet its target to end rough sleeping by 2024. Ultimately, to end rough sleeping we need to do much more to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place, especially young people who have been so hard hit by the economic impact of the pandemic.
“Working hand in hand with our partners in Milton Keynes, we’re supporting young people to avoid and escape homelessness. Our Reconnect family mediation service will work with more than 100 young people this year, helping them stay in, or return to, the family home, and we’re excited to be also launching our flagship Nightstop emergency accommodation service in Milton Keynes in the summer, which will work to prevent young people ever having to spend a night on the streets.”
Tracey McCillen, CEO Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership said: “It reassuring to see todays announcement and never more has it been needed to see a spotlight on homelessness. It’s important to remember though, that rough sleeping is only part of the story. There are more hidden homeless in MK than one might imagine ─ from sofa surfing to temporary accommodation, all of which today’s announcement doesn’t account for. We need long term collaborative solutions to homelessness in its widest sense to support individuals and end homelessness in our communities.
“MKHP brings together a network of organisations who work to prevent and end homelessness in Milton Keynes. We are delighted to be working alongside Depaul to support their Reconnect programme in Milton Keynes. Its family mediation service will support young people who are at risk of homelessness to re-establish family connections and prevent them falling out of stable accommodation. It’s an important cog in a very complex wheel that will support better outcomes for the people of Milton Keynes.”
Depaul UK’s recent report, “Everything Stopped”, based on a survey of people aged 16-to-25 using their services, found that:
- 59% of young people surveyed reported that Covid-19 and lockdown has had a negative effect on their mental health
- 37% reported new or increased conflict and tension within their family
- 50% reported a negative impact on their financial situation
Young people have also been disproportionately affected by the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. As the national unemployment rate rose to 5.1% in the three months to December, almost three of every five people that are now unemployed are under the age of 25.
Read more about how individuals, organisations and services can access the Reconnect service through the referral pathway . Find out more about what’s available through the Reconnect and Nightstop service in Milton Keynes.
For more information on Depaul UK and visit https://uk.depaulcharity.org
The Reconnect service is commissioned by Milton Keynes Council with plans to develop further interventions through Nightstop later in 2021