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Homelessness at 'frightening' levels according to Kent charity

The boss of a Kent charity says homelessness levels in the county have reached 'frightening levels' as people struggle to afford housing.

Figures show a steep rise in rough sleepers in the last year alone.

In Kent, in the year to March 2016, 509 people were classed as homeless. 78 of them were under 25.

The following year that had risen to 707 a rise of 38% - with 134 of them under 25.

A new report says the problem of homelessness is particularly bad in rural areas.

Sarah Saunders spoke to former homeless man Alan, Mike Barrett of the charity Porchlight and homeless people at the Catching Lives centre in Canterbury and Charlotte Snelling of the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Taskforce is set up to tackle homelessness

Portsmouth council are seeking to help the homeless Credit: ITV news

Portsmouth Council has set up a task force dedicated to tackling homelessness in the city. It's aim is to look the reasons why people become homeless and how this outcome can be reduced.

A day service offering breakfast, showers and laundry facilities is currently running as well as a 'Winter Beds Scheme' that provides beds to rough sleepers during the coldest months.

We take homelessness very seriously and are committed to helping rough sleepers get off the streets.

– Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Donna Jones

Homeless people at risk due to sub-zero temperatures

With overnight temperatures plummeting to sub-zero over the last few days, there's growing concern for the welfare of people living on the streets.

In Medway, there are calls for a change in the rules about when the council is obliged to offer emergency support for the homeless.

It comes after another death in Chatham when a homeless man was found dead in the doorway of a shop on Christmas Eve.

Nashreen Issa reports:

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Calls for council to help homeless survive the severe weather

There are calls for a council in Kent to change the way it helps homeless people this winter.

Medway Labour group are asking for changes to the severe weather protocol to benefit rough sleepers.

It follows the death of a homeless man in Chatham high street, on Christmas Eve.

Cllr Naushabah Khan, Medway Council, Labour:

Council wins funding to tackle homelessness

Oxfordshire county council aims to help homeless people Credit: ITV

Oxfordshire's city and district councils have won £790,000 of government funding to help tackle homelessness across the county.

The funding will be focused towards helping vulnerable single adults under the age of 35, and households at risk of homelessness.

This funding will be a major boost to our homelessness strategy that not only assists those who find themselves homeless but helps prevent it happening in the first place.

– Colin Dingwall, Cabinet Member for Housing and Shared Services at West Oxfordshire District Council

Brighton & Hove's new plan to tackle homelessness

It's believed that more than fifty homeless people have died in Brighton & Hove in the last three years. Now, in a report soon to be released, Brighton & Hove City Council has set an ambitious target ... "to make sure no-one has the need to sleep rough in the city by 2020".

The report comes with a fresh admission that the city's homelessness problem has become "more acute" with services working with more than 1,100 cases of rough sleepers last year - figures that are almost double what the situations was like five years ago. Andy Dickenson reports.

Bournemouth's £200k pledge to tackle homelessness

Bournemouth is one of the south's most popular seaside towns - famous for its sandy beaches and bustling nightlife. But tonight, dozens of people will bedding down in parks and shop doorways there.

A new report shows a worrying increase in homelessness. The problem has risen almost 400 percent in just five years. There were 10 rough sleepers in the town in 2010, but the latest figures show that in 2015, there were 47 homeless people. That's a much bigger increase compared to the rest of the country.

Bournemouth Borough Council is now promising an extra £200,000 to tackle the issue. Richard Slee reports.

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