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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Tories in Crisis... for a launch

May 21 2009
Party leader claims the Conservatives think about the homeless at all times at homelessness love-in The air was blue at Crisis' head office on Commercial Road, East London, last week. But this was nothing to do with a swear-a-thon but more to do with a Conservative Party love-in from London's leading homeless organisations. On Thursday 15th May 2008 representatives from charities, local authorities, and, of course, The Pavement gathered under the stripped beams of the Crisis Skylight Centre for the launch of The Homelessness Foundation, the latest Conservative Party think-tank. Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shapps, MP, was joined by party leader, the Rt Hon David Cameron, MP, to announce their bid to dispel any myths that social policy on homelessness was just a left-wing topic. As with most political issues these days, traditional socialism was declared dead as the Conservatives explained their plans to produce "periodic high quality research into the real and current scale of homelessness in Britain". Mr Shapps, still fighting fit despite his much-publicised night on the streets on Christmas Eve, told a captivated audience what he had learned from his rough-sleeping experience. He reprimanded the current system for counting the number of homeless people in Britain, declared a need for reliable and accurate figures if the problem is to reduced, and suggested that one of the main factors preventing long-term rough sleepers from seeking help is a lack of trust of local authorities and charities. He was joined by his advisory panel: Jeremy Swan, of Thames Reach; Jenny Edwards, of Homeless Link; Adam Sampson, of Shelter; Charles Fraser, of St Mungo's; Lesley Morphy, of Crisis itself; and John Bird, of the Big Issue, who gave Mr Cameron a run for his money in dominating the limelight. The panel all voiced their delight at being involved with the Conservative's endeavours to build relationships with the voluntary sector, and Mr Cameron said he hoped the Homelessness Foundation will find his party thinking about the homeless at all times.
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