Wales’ Housing Minister, Julie James, will spend the night on the streets of Cardiff tonight as part of a global day of action to bring homelessness to an end in Wales and across the world.
As part of the World’s Big Sleep Out, for one night, in backyards and iconic locations globally, the Minister will join an expected 50,000 people across the world to sleep out in unison to create the world’s largest display of solidarity and support of those experiencing homelessness and displacement.
The minister will use the global day of action to reaffirm the Welsh Government’s commitment to bringing rough sleeping and homelessness to an end in Wales.
The Welsh Government is taking firm action to achieve this aim.
Its primary goal is on preventing homelessness, and where it cannot be prevented, ensuring it is rare, brief and unrepeated.
In October, the minister published the Welsh Government’s new strategy for preventing and ending homelessness.
It focuses on the need for an earlier preventative approach and the public service response required to end homelessness. It sets out 3 goals:
- Immediate: supporting those currently in crisis
- Short / medium term: shifting the focus to true prevention and rapid rehousing
- Long term: maintaining a system in which homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurrent
Ministers are investing a record £1.7 billion in 20,000 affordable homes this Assembly term (2016-2022); while the Welsh Government has a desire to see even more social homes built at scale and pace.
The Welsh Government is also investing £20 million on preventing and relieving homelessness this year alone (2019/20). This funding is supporting a range of statutory and non-statutory services to help those who do not have a secure place to live, and includes specific actions on youth homelessness.
Speaking ahead of the Sleep Out, Housing Minister, Julie James said:
By joining the World’s Big Sleep Out tonight, I want to help raise awareness of the harsh realities of being homeless.
I do not want anyone in Wales to have to resort to sleeping out on our streets because they do not have somewhere to live. Every person deserves a decent, warm home to live in.
So it is the ambition of this Welsh Government to do everything in its power to bring homelessness in all its forms to an end. We are investing in support services and in new, affordable housing people need to help turn this vision into reality.