Monday, 23 February 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP, taking Homelessness seriously

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock is inviting views on homelessness in Basildon following a recent meeting with constituents from the voluntary group “Homeless Help in Basildon”.

The group, who are less than a year old, provide practical support for rough sleepers across the district and visited the MP to ask what help he could give to tackle the problem.

Stephen, who has long been a supporter of tackling of rough sleeping and homelessness, having previously worked at a night shelter, said he would do what he could and suggested organising a Homelessness Summit to understand the root cause and scale of the problem.

However in advance of the Summit Stephen has, together with other Homelessness charities, including the Basildon Church Together Group, Project Isaiah 58:7 called for a homelessness forum to be held where those with an interest in helping solve the problem can come together to discuss their experiences and what solutions or barriers may exist. He is also hoping some of the homeless community will come forward to tell the group first hand of their experience.

The forum is open to anyone with an interest in this issue and will be held on Saturday 28th February at 2.30pm in St Martin’s Pastoral Centre, St Martin’s Square, Basildon SS14 1DX by kind permission of the Rector of St Martin’s Church.

Stephen said: “The aim of this meeting is a round table discussion with practitioners and volunteers who are involved in providing assistance and support for homeless people.  Once we have gathered our collective thoughts and identified the key issues which need to be addressed, we can then present these to other professionals at a Homelessness Summit planned for Friday 27th March.”

“If anyone is interested in attending, I would welcome their input and ask that they contact me either at my Parliamentary office on 020 7219 7009 or via email: to book in.”

Stephen added: “Hopefully by working together we can make a real difference to those who seemed to have dropped out of the system and been all but forgotten, except by those who, out of their own goodness, try to make their lives a little bit easier. It’s the least I can do to try and help.”