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MSPs from Local Government and Communities Committee visit Streetwork crisis centre to hear first hand from homeless in Edinburgh

MSPs have heard first-hand from members of Edinburgh’s homeless community about services in the city during a visit to the Streetwork crisis centre.

The group from the Local Government and Communities Committee aimed to explore how people are accessing homelessness services in Edinburgh by speaking directly to people in housing crisis and frontline support staff, to help with forthcoming evidence sessions in relation to homelessness.


Local Government and Communities Committee deputy convener, Elaine Smith MSP, said: “It’s incredibly important for us to hear from people who are currently facing a life on the streets in Edinburgh.


“As part of our research into homelessness in Scotland, we also want to hear from vulnerable people who are at risk of being homeless and how this could potentially be prevented.

“What we learn from tonight’s visit will help to shape the Committee’s work in scrutinising housing matters in the future.”


The Streetwork crisis centre, which is based in Edinburgh city centre, provides 24-hour support for people in need of emergency accommodation and vital services.


Jan Williamson from Streetwork said: “We are pleased to welcome the committee to our centre and to have the opportunity for our frontline staff and those who access our service to speak directly to MSPs. We have over 25 years’ experience of supporting those who are among the most vulnerable in Edinburgh and hope our knowledge will help the Ccmmittee in its work.”


As part of its research into homelessness, the Local Government and Communities Committee will also visit charities and legal advice services in Glasgow and Perth to gain an overall picture of the current housing system in Scotland. The Committee will consider how best to take forward this work at evidence sessions in early March 2017.


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