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Cllr Thorne Statement 15/12/17
 Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: “It’s really heartening to see that so many people care about the homeless in Cardiff and are moved enough to go out and demonstrate. None of us want to see people suffering and having to live on the street. This is a UK-Wide issue, which touches us all, and an issue which we are working hard to fix in our city.

“I know people are demonstrating because they believe not enough is being done but I want them to know that no authority in Wales is doing as much as Cardiff.

“I also want them to know that there is no need for anyone to sleep outside at night. At this moment we have enough spaces ready to accommodate people. In fact we have had available spaces throughout the year.

“Let me give you the numbers. There are 216 frontline hostel spaces in the city, 45 emergency beds and 390 supported accommodation units.

“We have more cold weather provision this year than ever before – a total of 86 extra spaces - there has been availability every night for anyone who wants to come in, showing that this issue is far more complicated than just providing a place to sleep for the night. 

“Some individuals who sleep rough often have enormously complex issues and in some circumstances choose not to access our accommodation. In these circumstances, our Outreach team works directly with them out on the street on a daily basis. Engagement like this can take a long time to reach a positive outcome as the issues are more complex to deal with than just providing a bed.

“Some have blamed the Council for putting up student accommodation blocks in the city while people sleep on the streets – but they have to realise that these are private-sector, paid-for developments. They are not council developments. However, we (the Council) have recently secured funding for a number of innovative housing projects to help address rough sleeping in the city. Work on these projects - which include creating homes from shipping containers - will begin soon.

“We know that people are concerned about the people they see on the streets in the city centre, and if people want to help these vulnerable individuals rebuild their lives, there are much more beneficial ways to make a difference than giving them cash in the street. In fact handing over cash can lead to people staying on the street and not accessing the services we offer that can turn their lives around.

“We are pleased to be supporting a new campaign called Give DIFFerently to encourage people to donate by text to raise funds to help people to move away from the streets. Every penny donated will go towards helping the homeless turn their lives around. Or concerned residents could volunteer with charities that provide support to the homeless or those at risk of homelessness.

 “I want the public to know there are a wide range of services to help people in the city and our Outreach team works seven days a week both during the day and into the night to engage with people sleeping rough or who are at risk of sleeping rough.

“We also work with homeless charities such as Huggard, the Salvation Army, Wallich and the YMCA to provide hostel accommodation, a day centre for the homeless, and a night bus service. If people in need engage with us we will do everything we can to help them. If the public want to help I would urge them to look at the Give Diff-rently campaign and to volunteer to help where they can.”