Homeless charities could merge

Two of the country’s biggest homelessness charities are
considering merging because of the falling number of people
sleeping rough, writes Anabel Unity

Crisis and Shelter have started an open discussion on the
proposal to see if they can agree on the creation of a single
national homelessness agency to be a unified and effective force in
solving homelessness.

Crisis board of trustees chair Dave Edmonds said: “With the end
of mass rough sleeping in sight, Crisis is focussing on the large
number of homeless people hidden from view in hostels, B&Bs and
sleeping on friends floors.”

He added: “It makes sense for us to work closely with Shelter,
building on the good work they are also doing in this area.”

The charities will decide by 31 October this year if the merger
goes ahead or not.

A consultation document on the government’s strategy on
rough sleeping was launched by the Department for Transport, Local
Government and the Regions last month.

Councils, voluntary sector agencies and other relevant
organisations have until 7 September 2001 to express their views on
the strategy, including the role of the Rough Sleepers Unit. The
unit was established in 1999 to cut the numbers of people sleeping
rough by two-thirds by 2002.






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