Homeless Link has launched a Department for Communities and Local Government-backed action plan to reduce the number of central and eastern European people sleeping rough in London.
The national membership body for homelessness agencies said there had been a growing concern over the number of migrant people ending up homeless in the capital. Some homeless day centres have reported having to turn central and eastern Europeans away as demand for services has skyrocketed.
In a co-ordinated response to the problem, Homeless Link will work with front-line organisations to help homeless people from central and eastern Europe gain employment and access accommodation and services.
Help to return home
Some rough sleepers will be offered tickets home and directed to homeless hostels in their country of origin. The charity will also develop training on central and eastern European culture for homelessness, drug and alcohol and council staff.
The strategy follows the announcement this week by communities secretary Hazel Blears of a wide-ranging plan to manage the impact of migration.
Chief executive Jenny Edwards said the DCLG’s backing was a “fantastic example” of the third sector working in collaboration with government. She added: “However, the issue requires a wider response than the homelessness sector and this country. We call on other government departments and international agencies to demonstrate an equal commitment in tackling this issue.”