Christina Rees Shadow Minister (Justice):
The inspirational ladies football player, Fara Williams, was homeless at 17, but went on to play 157 times for England, including as captain, and is now at Arsenal. Fara supports Centrepoint’s appeal for funds to set up the first national freephone helpline for 16 to 25-year-olds who are homeless and at risk of living a life on the streets, as she was. Does the Minister agree that that is a tremendous, long overdue initiative and that it should be funded by the Government?
Marcus Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Local Government):
The hon. Lady is right to bring that prime example to our attention. The fact that somebody is rough sleeping does not mean that they do not have the ability to reach their full potential, but we need to encourage them to do that. The Government currently pay for a service called StreetLink, which people can ring, or use an app, to report those who are sleeping rough. The details are then brought to the attention of the local housing department.