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Labour Cabinet announce more emergency accommodation for street homeless

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The Labour Leader of Milton Keynes Council tonight announced plans for the council to provide at least 30 emergency placements for people sleeping rough on the streets of Milton Keynes this winter.

As part of an announcement at a MK Council Cabinet meeting, Councillor Peter Marland announced:

  • Funding will be found for at least 30 extra emergency places this winter
  • An expansion of the Outreach Service to identify and support street homeless people more quickly
  • A site had been secured, subject to planning, for the Bus Shelter MK to provide 16 overnight accommodation places
  • Funding will be provided for the One Stop Shop running costs
  • That the Council is working towards a policy that every street homeless person from Milton Keynes will be offered overnight accommodation if they wish to accept it
  • The Council will develop a bid to government to fund support services for “high need” street homeless people with mental health, drug or alcohol problems with local health bosses and partners
  • MK Council will look at ways to offer training or employment to street homeless people direct and encourage MK business to do the same
  • The Council will develop a way for the public to be able to donate easily to homeless charities in order to curb street begging and so people know their generosity will improve lives

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Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of MK Council said:

It is the mark of society that every person should have the right to a safe place to sleep. While we have been developing street homeless services from a standing start, it is time for a faster pace. It gives me no pleasure to need to announce these emergency placements, but they are needed as homelessness of all types continues to be a huge issue here in MK and nationally, but street homelessness is a huge issue here.

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Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet Member for Housing said:

With the addition of at least 30 placements and the extra placements being delivered by others such as the Winter Night Shelter and The Bus Shelter MK, we believe Milton Keynes to be in a position to start to ensure everyone who is street homeless and from Milton Keynes can be offered a safe place to sleep if they wish to accept it. Obviously we’ll continue to work to expand homelessness services and develop them as needed. We’ll also be expanding the Outreach Team so we can help more people.”

Nigel continued:

However we’ve always been clear that it isn’t just about housing. So we will be developing a scheme that will offer people training or employment, a way for people to give donations so it helps people and tackles street begging, and we’ll be developing a support service proposal for people with high needs with partners and asking Central Government to fund it.

Cllr Marland concluded:

We will not be able to solve homelessness while there is a Tory Government, and while under huge financial pressure the funding will for these services will need to be found, but it is right we do so. It is a positive move forward, and I hope by working with partners is it another step towards improving our homeless situation in MK.

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