It’s vital to remember mental health when we talk about housing

When there’s a housing crisis any help at all is welcome. That’s why we’re pleased at Second Step that the Government has pledged more money to help reduce rough sleeping.

With this extra funding we are aiming to find homes for 73 people who are currently sleeping rough in Bristol over the next seven months. This will be a significant achievement for these 73 people and for the city as a whole.

We’re working collaboratively with our partners – Salvation Army, St Mungo’s and Ara – to deliver Bristol’s Rough Sleeping Initiative projects. By working consistently and efficiently together we are confident we will make the most of current and new funding and help people off the streets and into safe accommodation.

Crucially we’re offering specialist mental health support including the input of a new psychologist on the team to help people move on in a lasting way.

We know this approach works and we’re keen to spread our message far and wide, pledging to help the Government with quick solutions as well as leading the way with sustainable longer term prevention.

However, it is concerning when today we hear the Government’s plans for social housing and yet nowhere is there a mention of any plans to build new homes. Without new homes we will not be able to sort this housing crisis. It’s a tragedy that only 6000 new homes were built last year when we need 90,000.

We’ll do our bit here in Bristol working with housing associations and providers to build more housing, but for change to happen we need real support from Westminster and we need it soon.

Michael Pearson

Senior Operations Manager, Second Step

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