A HOMELESS hostel in Trowbridge was visited by MP for South West Wiltshire Dr Andrew Murrison who has written to the housing minister about hostel funding.

Dr Murrison has been looking into rough sleeping in the area and visited the hostel run by Wiltshire Council and the charity Alabare which is funded under the government’s Rough Sleeper Initiative.

He was keen to better understand the extent of and reasons for rough sleeping in Wiltshire, progress made with recent funding and what more can be done.

He said: “The Rough Sleeper Initiative has clearly been successful locally but I’m concerned about funding after March next year.

"Consequently, I’ve written to housing minister James Brokenshire and the Chancellor asking about plans for the longer term and for assurances that the funding will not stop next Spring."

Dr Murrison is interested in the part played by mental health problems and involvement of the criminal justice system in the causation of rough sleeping.

He said: “The causes of homelessness are complex and varied but mental health issues play a particularly big part.

"I very much welcome the government’s announcement that £30 million will be spent specifically on mental health help for rough sleepers over the next five years.

“Any level of involuntary rough sleeping is just not acceptable.

"Though very low locally, we must all work to eradicate it completely and bring everyone in from the cold."

In June, Wiltshire Council obtained a £312,000 Government grant to provide overnight accommodation for rough sleepers during the winter.