75,000 children homeless

Seventy-five thousand children will wake up homeless on Christmas Day, housing charity Shelter has warned.

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Homelessness affecting 'every part of society'

Speaking to ITV News the Chief Executive of the charity Shelter, Campbell Robb, said homelessness was now affecting families across the country and every part of society.

We've seen a rise in homelessness in the last six months mainly because of the economic situation as people struggle to keep jobs, wages are also struggling, costs are going up and people are just beginning to really struggle to keep a roof over their head.

What we need to do is to help these people find a home, to get that secure and set themselves up for the future.

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Mum-of-three: 'I couldn't afford food for my children'

Homeless charity Shelter has said the number of homeless families in Britain has been "rising steadily over recent months".

Daybreak's Carla Eberhardt speaks to mum-of-three Erika Garratt who had her home repossessed last year and had to move back in with her parents.

Ms Garratt said: "We just completely ran out of money. I was having to get family to buy food and we were relying on clothes gifts. It was stressful and awful."

Downton stars help RAF raise awareness of the homeless

After feeding British soldiers at the Olympics, Royal Air Force No 3. Mobile Catering Squadron is back in action again, this time on the streets of London.

As part of the first ever UK wide 'Sleep Out', in support of homeless charity Centrepoint, the team is running a kitchen to feed 850 volunteer 'sleepers' in central London.

Royal Air Force No 3. Mobile Catering Squadron helping support homeless charity Centrepoint
Royal Air Force No 3. Mobile Catering Squadron helping support homeless charity Centrepoint Credit: MoD

Celebrities and members of the public spend one night on the street each year to raise money for the charity. Among them this year is Downton Abbey's Tom Branson and Daisy Mason.

Downton's Tom Branson and Daisy Mason
Downton's Tom Branson and Daisy Mason Credit: MoD

Homeless households 'on the rise'

The number of homeless households in England has risen by a quarter in the last three years, new figures show.

Some 50,290 families and individuals were classed as homeless and in need of emergency accommodation in 2011/12, compared with 40,020 in 2009/10 - an increase of more than 25%.

But despite the rise in the number of cases, spending on tackling homelessness fell from £213.7 million to £199.8 million between 2009/10 and 2010/11, data experts SSentif said.

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Homeless people's rights

Local councils have specific legal duties towards homeless people, homless charity Shelter have said.

If any person who is homeless or threatened with homelessness approaches the council for help, it has to provide them with advice and assistance.

Social services also have duties to sometimes help certain groups of people who become homeless, the charity have said.

These groups include:

  • Most young people under the age of 18.
  • People who have been in care (normally up to age 21 or up to the age of 24 if you are still in full-time education).
  • People with disabilities.
  • People with mental health problems older people.

Social services may also be able to help families with children but they are not legally obliged to provide accommodation where everyone can live together.

What situations mean you are homeless?

According to homless charity Shelter, the council will consider you homeless if:

  • You have no home in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
  • You have no home where you can live together with your immediate family.
  • You can only stay where you are on a very temporary basis.
  • You don't have permission to live where you are.
  • You have been locked out of home and you aren't allowed back.
  • You can't live at home because of violence or abuse or threats of violence or abuse, which are likely to be carried out against you or someone else in your household.
  • It isn't reasonable for you to stay in your home for any reason (for example, if your home is in very poor condition).
  • You can't afford to stay where you are.
  • You live in a vehicle or boat and you have nowhere to put it.
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