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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 1999): Social Care - UK - Rough Sleepers

ADOPTION PLAN FOR "BIG ISSUE" SELLERS GETS BLAIR'S BACKING

F. Abrams
Independent, 6th July 1998, p. 2

Announces a new package of measures to reduce the number of rough sleepers in London. The government will give the homeless immediate access to its New Deal employment programme and will appoint a "Tzar" to oversee the campaign. In a mentoring scheme sponsored jointly by the Government and the Big Issue, volunteers will act as befrienders of homeless people, providing moral support and advice.

BLAIR'S BATTLE

T. Blair
Big Issue, no. 291, July 6-12 1998, p. 20-21

Introduces a new project for volunteers to mentor homeless people and help them by providing work opportunities and practical advice and support. Argues that people become homeless through family breakdown and through being unable to cope on leaving institutional life in prison, the armed forces or local authority care. It is vital to get newly homeless people into hostels quickly before they get sick or fall into bad company. Better support is needed for people leaving institutional life, and young people need to be discouraged from leaving home early.

ROUGH SLEEPING


Social Exclusion Unit
London: TSO, 1998 (Cm 4008)

Recommends the creation of a London-wide body, headed by a Streets Tsar, to co-ordinate attempts to bring the numbers sleeping rough in the capital down to below 100 by 2002. Includes suggestions that rough sleepers might be forced into hostels, and that provision of a hostel place might be conditional on participation in employment or training programmes.

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