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Government announce homelessness ‘hubs’ as Brokenshire denies they are to blame for the crisis

The Government has announced 11 rough sleeping ‘hubs’ will be set up across England to provide immediate shelter and assessment to those sleeping rough or at risk of doing so.

They will be able to offer specialist support to address those with complex needs such as mental health problems and substance misuse.

The new hubs, backed by up to £4.8m government funding, will be up and running by spring 2019, with a further 4 centres to follow next year.

Housing charity Shelter estimates at least 320,000 people are homeless in the UK, with the number rising by 13,000 since last year, despite various government pledges to tackle the crisis.

In an interview with The Guardian this morning, housing secretary James Brokenshire said the rise in homelessness was due to a ‘combination of concerning elements in terms of addiction, family breakdown issues.’

The first ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay’ hubs will be launched in the following areas:

  • Brighton & Hove
  • Bristol
  • Cheshire West & Chester
  • Derby
  • Gloucestershire (encompassing the 7 councils in the county)
  • Lincoln
  • Liverpool
  • Medway
  • Nottingham City
  • Preston
  • West London (encompassing 7 borough councils)

Howard Sinclair, chief executive of homeless charity St Mungo’s, who will help to run the Shepherds Bush centre, said: ‘St Mungo’s is very pleased to be involved in the Somewhere Safe to Stay pilots. These will offer much needed emergency shelter where people in crisis can have their needs assessed urgently away from the extreme dangers of sleeping on the streets.’

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