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BLAIR CALLS FOR CO-ORDINATED ACTION AGAINST HOMELESSNESS

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Prime minister Tony Blair says the new schemes announced to tackle homelessness require a radical new approach acro...
Prime minister Tony Blair says the new schemes announced to tackle homelessness require a radical new approach across government, the voluntary sector, local authorities and the police.

Writing in The Big Issue (p21) Mr Blair says one of the things he was struck with when Labour came to power was the lack of co-ordination in tackling certain problems like rough sleeping.

He says he wants all the relevant organisations, including local authorities, to work in new ways, co-ordinating better what the government does to help the most vulnerable in society.

He writes: 'Life on the streets can be the legacy of institutional life - in local authority care, prison or the armed forces. The sad fact is that one in three rough sleepers has been in local authority care. They lack the family support the rest of us can take for granted when we leave home.'

'Attitdues have to change - the attitude that it's OK for the homeless not to have a GP; that it's OK to keep homeless people waiting months for housing benefit even if that costs them the chance of a flat of their own; or the attitude that the homeless are people who deserve charity but not homes or jobs,' he says.
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