COLUMN: Tackling homelessness a top priority

editorial image

Since becoming the Member of Parliament for Mansfield just over two months ago, I have made the issue of homelessness one of my priorities. 
We do have an issue with homelessness in Mansfield and I believe that we need to work together to make sure we can improve the lives of the people who want to be helped. 
I have taken the time over recess to meet with Framework, representatives from The Hall, Nottingham Community Housing Association and also with officers of the council. 
This is so I can start to really understand the issues we have. 
In the coming weeks, I will continue to meet with other groups so that I can see the full picture before we can plan how best we are able to tackle it. 
In the coming months, I will also be holding homelessness forums. 
These will be for local charities, for businesses and also for local religious groups.
The aim of this is to make sure we have a long-term plan for the homeless and the vulnerable. 
There are many different reasons why people become homeless and it can’t be a one size fits all approach to helping them. 
What need to do is be compassionate and find the real reasons people are in this position and why people are sleeping on the streets in 2017.
The people and volunteers working on the ground do a really great job with limited resources. 
They provide a comprehensive range of help and support for the most vulnerable people.
But what we need is a real long-term solution and support for people by providing day-to-day assistance to support reintegration into the community. 
By getting everyone sat around the same table to talk about the issues we face, together we can ensure that these people aren’t forgotten.