On 27th February 2020 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a Government statement on the latest rough sleeping annual statistics for 2019, and the approach of the Government. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I am grateful for that Statement and look forward to the review by Dame Louise Casey. Does the Minister agree that many elements of civil society, particularly churches, faith communities and charities, while waiting for this, are out on the streets almost every night? I refer to what we call floating shelters in many parts of the country through the winter months—which can be five months—which skew the figures a bit, because they take people off the streets. There are some excellent examples in my neck of the woods, where the churches host rough sleepers overnight and the mosques provide the curry.
The Earl of Courtown: Excellent, my Lords. The right reverend Prelate is quite correct that I should draw attention to the amazing work done by these various groups. Most local authorities consult with the voluntary sector, the police, outreach workers, substance misuse agencies, faith groups, mental health agencies, drug and alcohol treatment teams, and local residents and businesses. It is important that this is done on a local basis because, as I said before, local people know their area and know the individuals involved.