Leader comment: We'll only sort this problem by working together

WE've all seen people sleeping rough on Edinburgh's streets.

Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 7:00 am

Some of us may have stopped, offered some food and tried to help. A few more may have tossed coins in a plastic cup. The vast majority will have averted their gaze and walked on by, pretending the figure huddled in the doorway or propped up against the shop window isn’t really there.

The thing is - pretending just doesn’t work anymore.

Edinburgh is in the midst of a homelessness crisis, it’s undeniable, and it’s an issue for us all.

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Today we shine a light on the work of the Police Scotland patrols reaching out to those who spend their nights on the streets. The stories are both heartbreaking and illuminating of what a complex problem we have.

Take Gordon Wilkie, 56, who tells us “I’ve got a place to stay but I never stay in it” adding “there’s lots of help out there but it becomes overwhelming.”

Every homeless story will be different, and finding a way to get the right support at the right time to the individual is the key. Nick Harrold of the Cyrenians puts it best: “Edinburgh is only going to sort this if we all work together.”

Let’s get to work.