Oxfordshire cannot 'waste the opportunity' to end rough sleeping by 2021, says leading action group

A leading homelessness action group says Oxfordshire could end rough sleeping in the county beyond 2021.

Launching its winter fundraising campaign, the Oxfordshire Homeless Movement (OHM) is encouraging people to consider donating money "you would have spent on Christmas parties."

The Oxfordshire Community Fund (OCF) has agreed to match the first £20,000 of donations made before Friday 8 January.

The OHM says "unprecedented" action taken during the early stages of the pandemic took hundreds of people off the streets.

Jane Cranston, Chair of the OHM, said they cannot "waste the opportunity" provided by the pandemic.

“There are now people coming in who haven’t been inside for years, and who are recognising that they can accept support and help," she said.

OHM is a partnership that aims to tackle homelessness locally, bringing together all six councils, local businesses, the universities and around 70 Oxfordshire charities.

The appeal launch follows the death of three people in Oxford who had a history of rough sleeping.