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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
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