Homelessness

It is a national scandal that so many people are sleeping on the streets in 21st century Britain.

According to official figures 13 people were sleeping rough in Guildford last year. However it is clear from speaking with Guildford Action that this number does not reflect the true extent of the problem as it does not count people sofa-surfing or sleeping in car parks, cars, etc.

"The first step towards ending rough sleeping is being honest about the size of the problem by counting the numbers of people properly. Only then can the right level of funding be made available to organisations working homeless people so that they can offer the support needed and truly move towards ending rough sleeping for good.

As well as increasing support for homelessness prevention and properly funding emergency accommodation, we need to work at modernising facilities and sharing best practice between organisations. Money is not always the solution to the problem - there are people who have worked supporting homeless people for years who have experience and ideas that, if taken on board, could radically improve the provision available without it costing huge sums.

The Liberal Democrats and I will ensure our local authority has at least one provider of Housing First services, to allow long-term homeless people to live independently in their own homes.

The evidence suggests that supporting people and giving them long-term, stable places to stay is far more successful in tackling homelessness than constantly moving them to different temporary accommodation.