On Wednesday 22nd February 2017, MSPs from the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities committee met with Edinburgh’s homeless community at the Streetwork crisis centre.

By speaking directly to people in housing crisis and frontline support staff, the MSPs explored how people are accessing homelessness services in Edinburgh to help the committee with forthcoming evidence sessions in relation to homelessness.

Commenting after the event, member of the Local Government and Communities committee, and SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire, said:

“I am very grateful to Streetwork for facilitating the visit and all the folk who took the time to speak with my colleagues and I and share their experiences.  It is crucial when looking at the effectiveness of legislation that we speak with those who are directly affected and the insight gained on Wednesday evening in Edinburgh will help to inform my work as a member of Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities committee, which plans to closely examine the issue of homelessness.”

Jan Williamson from Streetwork added: “We are pleased to welcome the Committee to our centre and to have the opportunity for our frontline staff and those who access our service to speak directly to MSPs. We have over 25 years’ experience of supporting those who are among the most vulnerable in Edinburgh and hope our knowledge will help the Committee in its work.”

As part of its research into homelessness, the committee will also visit charities and legal advice services in Glasgow and Perth to gain an overall picture of the current housing system in Scotland.

The committee will consider how best to take forward this work at evidence sessions in early March.