As you may have seen in some of my recent columns, homelessness is something that I have continually raised with my ministerial colleagues since being elected last year, writes Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield.
I’m really pleased to see that the Government is launching its Rough Sleeping Strategy.
This is a £100 million programme aiming to prevent rough sleeping and support early intervention.
I am delighted that this has been developed alongside charities and experts to ensure that we support the most vulnerable people in the best way possible.
Before Parliament broke up for the summer recess I held a debate in the House of Commons looking at the issue of mamba and spice in Mansfield town centre.
It’s a big issue locally of course, especially amongst the homeless population, and I believe that we need to look at the issues surrounding mental health and substance misuse too.
For many rough sleepers these zombie drugs become part of a vicious cycle of addiction, and one that ultimately affects us all.
That is why I am glad that at the heart of the Rough Sleeping Strategy is a £30 million boost for targeted mental health and substance misuse treatment for rough sleepers.
For the first time there will be training for professionals specifically to deal with mamba and spice, which comes as a result of the increased prevalence of these drugs and I hope that this will help to reduce the issues seen in Mansfield in recent months.
It’s not a quick fix but it is a positive step.
I am also due to meet a mamba specialist in a few weeks running support services in Nottingham city, which is a great opportunity to learn more about the support and treatment options that are available for vulnerable users
The strategy is a step in the right direction and it is important that the Government is considering prevention, intervention and recovery as part of its approach.
I will continue my work on both homelessness and mamba usage locally in Mansfield and push the Government and local services to deal with this challenge effectively.