Beyond bricks and mortar

Southampton Street Support Action Group held their seventh conference last week and the second one held online. It was well attended by agencies, local government, the voluntary sector, councillors, and our local MP’s. The conference gathered to hear reports of the work with those sleeping rough over the last year of lockdowns and to look at some of the future plans.

Entitled Beyond Bricks and Mortar it considered the factors that impinge on homeless beyond just somewhere to sleep. The important theme that emerged in all we heard was that collaboration is so important as a strategy to make a difference and perhaps the only effective as a way to address homelessness.

The conference also marked the recent change in political leadership at the city and Spiros Vassilou was welcomed as the Councillor with responsibility for Communities, Culture and Heritage.

Spiros takes over from Satvir Kaur who said “As a Labour Council we worked hard to address homelessness and the root causes to rough sleeping. We’re proud of the partnership working we achieved to ensure a citywide response to the issue. I hope, and am sure, the new Conservative Council will carry on our good work in this area. We will only end homelessness by acknowledging the problem and working together.”

Spiros Vassiliou Said “It was really wonderful to be in the virtual homelessness conference yesterday and hear about the great work going on in Southampton to help and support some of our most vulnerable homeless people, especially during the pandemic. I was lucky enough to have attended the very first conferences back in 2018 when ideas were just starting to be talked about and its fantastic to see how much progress has been made since then. As the new Cabinet member for Communities, Culture & Heritage, I look forward to supporting and working with this partnership to further tackle homelessness in our City.”

The video of the conference can be found here: