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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:

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.

Help for homeless rough sleepers

Public services to help rough sleepers are open at this time of year

A number of organisations in Oxfordshire are open and ready to help rough sleepers over the holiday season.

Oxford City Council can help people who fall into homelessness over Christmas time. The local authority has emergency officers on duty on bank holidays and weekends, and services will be open during normal business hours over the coming week.

Day centres like Steppin’ Stone in East Oxford and Gatehouse in central Oxford are providing food and Christmas presents. Hostels and other supported accommodation will also be open.

“Oxford City Council is absolutely committed to doing all it can to prevent and tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. We will continue to fund and support the services that help people in this situation, over the festive season and in the years to come."

– Councillor Mike Rowley, Board member for Housing and Property Services,

The Oxford Street Population Outreach Team (SPOT) can refer rough sleepers to the day service at O'Hanlon House which will be open every day, providing lunch and other activities. The SPOT team works early in the mornings and late at night, to help people who find themselves on the street and need accommodation.

If you see someone sleeping rough you can contact SPOT to let them know by telephoning 01865 304 611, or send an email to the team on

Wherever you are in the UK you can contact the 24-hour Streetlink service on 0300 500 0914 or use their app at

Streetlink is part funded by the government and public donations. It is a way for the public to alert local authorities in England about people sleeping rough in their area.

Rough sleeping summit held to tackle homelessness

It's thought more than a thousand people sleep rough every year in Brighton and Hove Credit: ITV Meridian

The first ever 'rough sleeping summit' has been held in Brighton and Hove.

It's thought more than a thousand people sleep rough every year in the city.

The council says it hopes to build on existing services so no one is homeless and living on its streets by 2020.

"Our vision is to make sure no-one has the need to sleep rough in Brighton & Hove by 2020. This is a challenge we need to start tackling now.

"The aim is to build on existing provision and work with our partners to see an effective city-wide approach for the future. The dangers of living on the streets are severe and impact on some of the most vulnerable in our society.

"At a time when resources are scarce and demand is rising, we need to look at how we can work together to help those in need."

– Cllr Clare Moonan, lead councillor for homelessness

Food banks and rat infested homes - symptoms of Reading's chronic housing shortage

As an emergency housing summit gets underway in Reading tonight over its chronic lack of housing, reporter Kate Bunkall investigates and meets a 17-year-old who sleeps alongside his family in one room of their rat infested home.

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