Rochester and Strood MP Kelly Tolhurst has welcomed the dramatic reduction in rough sleepers on Medway’s streets after welcoming a visit from Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Heather Wheeler MP.
Kelly accompanied the minister for a visit with councillors and local officials as well as a visit to a local hostel Regent House homeless hostel and local charity to see the good work which has been put in over the past 12 months.
The Government’s official rough sleeping statistics over the past year has showed a reduction of 25 rough sleepers down from 44, with the total now standing at 19. This follows the Government’s restated priority to reduce the numbers sleeping rough and has invested large sums into this task, led by Minister Health Wheeler MP.
Homelessness had been an increasing issue across Medway and led Kelly Tolhurst MP to lobby heavily in support of Medway Council’s bid for a portion of the Government’s £30m Rough Sleeping Initiative last year. As a result, the Council was successful in receiving over £400,0000 and is set to receive a further amount for the year ahead.
Medway is one of the most successful areas in the UK in bringing the number of rough sleepers down, helping people into temporary accommodation and getting them back on their feet.
During the Minister’s visit to Medway Kelly Tolhurst MP said,
"We are really pleased to see that the numbers in Medway have come down and I think it's a testament to the council working with government and charities, and a political ambition to reduce the numbers of people that are affected.
"I think it's really been a team effort here in Medway and I think that's why we have been successful so far. But it doesn't stop here, there's still work going on; Medway is still improving its services and with the extra money that's been given to help tackle this issue we are seeing a real impact on the ground.
“I do believe this new effort from government and the council really helps make a difference to those who have fallen on unfortunate times and helps reassure our societies of the support available.”