Brokenshire promise fails to convince homeless charities

The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells gave a professional level performance in the  ISA drama contests

Local charities are unconvinced a £100million government scheme can eradicate homelessness in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge.

Kent-wide charity Porchlight said 834 people slept rough for at least one night in the county last year, which is up from 707 in 2016-17.

Five years ago the number was 148, which shows the growth of the problem.

This week the government launched the national £100 million scheme with the aim to eradicate homelessness by 2027.

Secretary of State for Housing and Communities James Brokenshire, later admitted the £100million being invested is simply reallocation of money already within the Department’s budget and is not a new figure.

Mr Brokenshire said: ‘Half of that has already been committed to homelessness and rough sleeping, the other remaining half of this is money that’s new to rough sleeping and homelessness, reflecting and recognising the priorities and importance of taxes.’

A spokesman for Tunbridge Wells’ Labour Party said: ‘Homelessness is a complex, multi-agency issue, addressing it requires joined up thinking and joined up action.

‘In Tunbridge Wells, there is a reliance on voluntary agencies to do what they can with little support, little funding, with no management or leadership from the council or the government.’

Tonbridge-based charity, The Bridge Trust is one of many organisations who have faced funding problems, with one cut-off of £7,000 and lack of funding from Kent County Council.

John Handley, Chief Executive of Tonbridge-based charity, The Bridge Trust said: ‘I would say that the smaller charities have a smaller part to play to help solve the homelessness problem.

‘Kent County Council is going through a retendering of all homelessness charities and have announced that they are going to just give to large charities, which will affect us greatly.

‘Of course, any funding from the government is welcome, however we need to tackle all aspects.

‘The government need to make sure getting homeless people the mental support as well financial help.’

Mike Barrett, Chief Executive of Porchlight, said: ‘This is welcome news, but if the government is serious about ending rough sleeping then this has to be the first step towards solving the problem.

‘Homelessness can only be ended through continued investment.’

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter