Charity seeks help to find rough sleepers
A homelessness charity has launched a campaign to call on members of the public to help them find rough sleepers in Kent and Medway.
People will be able to call a 24-hour helpline or complete a form online to give the location of rough sleepers as part of Porchlight’s Don’t just walk past – tell us campaign.
This is part of a nationwide effort to ensure rough sleepers do not spend a second night out on the streets.
The charity received £250,000 from the £20 million homelessness transition fund, which housing minister Grant Shapps announced last year to end rough sleeping.
Chris Coffey, strategic manager for Porchlight’s rough sleeper team, said the aim of the campaign was to find new rough sleepers as soon as possible and stop their situation becoming worse.
‘A large number of homeless people are currently staying on friend’s sofas or in unsuitable temporary accommodation,’ he explained.
‘All too quickly they can drop on to the streets when their welcome runs out. If someone has to sleep rough for too long they can become entrenched in that lifestyle and develop further issues such as drug or alcohol dependency.’
Communities and Local Government department figures released in February this year showed there was a 23 per cent rise in rough sleepers on the streets of England from autumn 2010 to autumn 2011, from 1,768 to 2,181. In the first three months of this year 244 people approached Porchlight’s rough sleeper team for help.
The 24-hour helpline number is 0800 567 76 99 or you can complete a form on the charity’s website www.porchlight.org.uk/tellus.
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