The DEMOCRAT

Kirk welcomes Scottish Government pledge to eradicate rough sleeping

Rough sleepers and alcoholics in Edinburgh.  Pictures by Bill Heaney

March 7, 2017 – Former Moderator of the General Assembly, Very Rev Dr Russell Barr, has welcomed a Scottish Government decision to accept proposals to eradicate rough sleeping.  Dr Barr, minister of Cramond Kirk in Edinburgh, is a member of the Scottish Government’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group.  Dr Barr said: “I am delighted that Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart, has accepted our proposals and provided funding to ensure the recommendations are put into action. This is an important first step on what I hope and pray will be a series of co-ordinated efforts to end the blight of homelessness in 21st century Scotland.  Although it only represents the tip of the homelessness iceberg, the sight of people sleeping rough in shop doorways and park benches is awful beyond words.  As everyone who took part in Social Bite’s ‘Big Sleep Out’, last December in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens, one night spent in the freezing cold was bad enough.  It is impossible to imagine what it must be like to spend night after night , especially over these last few days.” Very Rev Dr Russell Barr tirelessly used his time in office as Moderator (2016-17) to campaign for an end to homelessness.  He set up a charity in Edinburgh called Fresh Start in 1999 to help people who had been homeless turn a new tenancy into a home

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