More steps needed to improve mental health and reduce substance abuse amongst rough sleepers

(Title Image: BBC Wales)

In a follow-up report on rough-sleeping (pdf), the Senedd’s Communities Committee suggested the Welsh Government needs to do much more to cut harmful behaviours amongst rough-sleepers.

“There is no question that we are facing a rough sleeping crisis and there is not currently enough money in the system to deliver the significant shift needed to tackle the problem. However, it’s also clear that there are many structural problems across Wales preventing us from eradicating rough sleeping. Homelessness cannot be prevented through housing alone, there is a role for all public services in tackling the issue.”
– Committee Chair, John Griffiths AM (Lab, Newport East)

The Committee heard that lack of training and lack of leadership within organisations dealing with rough-sleepers was a major barrier to progress. Some organisations suggested the introduction of sterile “injecting rooms” for drug-users – though this fell outside devolved powers.